POETRY

Smoker’s Rights

 
You as a smoker have rights, yes you do. 
You have the right to maintain your addiction, and that is exactly what it is, an addiction.
You have the right to legally buy cigarettes and deliver to your body, through your lungs the nicotine that it so desperately craves. 
You have the right to support the tobacco giants whose government sanctioned business model is predatory in nature and flies in the face of anything that could be construed as business ethics. You have the right to do that.  
You have the right to sit in your car with the windows rolled up and smoke to your compromised heart’s content.
 
You do not have the right to flick your butts out your car window, on to the street that I walk on, to be washed into the gutter and pollute the waters of the country I live in. You do not have the right to do that. You do not have the right to throw your cigarette package on the ground; would you do that in your own drive way or around your own house?  
You have a chemical dependency; I get that, and have compassion for you. That compassion ends where the air I breathe begins.  
You do not have the right to smoke upwind of me when I am walking down the street or sitting at a cafe. You do not have the right to stand in front of a business’ door where other non smokers wish to enter and leave.  
You do not have the right to sit outside a hospital and pollute the air for those who are there to treat health issues. Do you have any idea how ironic and tragic it is to see smokers sitting across from a cancer hospital?  
As a smoker you have rights, I will honour those,
Please honour mine.  
 
Copyright © Henri Ferguson 2012
 
Author’s Comments
 

My wife had sinus cancer 13 years ago and it has come back in one of her lungs and the right side of her brain. She recently had a large tumour and part of her lung removed and so she is incredibly sensitive to strong odors and scents but particularly second hand smoke. I realize smokers don’t know this but my experience has been with most smokers is that they appear to be totally oblivious to the fact that most of the folks around them do not smoke and their “apparent” indifference makes all non smokers sharing the common space their accomplices

By | 2012-09-21T08:33:00+00:00 September 21st, 2012|0 Comments

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