Friday, May 22, 2015

Smoking and Living Green

This month we've been focusing on clean air. Our first Change The World Wednesday challenge of May asked participants to stop smoking and/or not allow smoking in their homes.

So I wondered if "greenies" actually ban smoking from their lives. Here are the results of this month's survey:

Smoking and Living Green

Smoking and Living Green

Smoking and Living Green


  • I became a smoker when I was about 19 (my hubby at that time was too) but when I became pregnant at 20, I stopped cold turkey. He didn't smoke in the house but did think it was ok to smoke in the car if the window was open. My ex has stayed a smoker all these years while I never went back to the nasty habit. I had a few friends that smoked but no one ever did in our house. If they wanted to smoke, they were more than welcome to go in our garage or sit outside. It's always been the rule. No ifs or butts. Haha. I have two friends that use the e-cigs that I don't see very often but when they visit, they go outside, sit out on the porch, smoking the e-cigs while enjoyng the scenery and fresh air. ;)
  • When I was 18, I became a social smoker, as I called it. I smoked with my best friend, but that was it. Then I did start buying my own packs, but I'd only smoke 1 or 2 cigarettes & then throw the pack out. I'd always feel a huge amount of guilt, & I was also sick the next day after smoking a cigarette. I also have asthma - so this affected my breathing. I'd smoke once every month or two. Then in '94, when I was 24, I quit suddenly & haven't gone back to it since. I'm so very glad about that! It's a gross habit that makes everything smell & makes people ill. I can't even stand to be around cigarette smoke. I don't allow smoking anywhere near my doorway, although my friends can smoke elsewhere in the yard if they smoke. No one I spend any amount of time with smoke, but when I am with my smoking friends, they understand my need to not be with them when they smoke. :)
  • Although I've had cigarettes to my mouth when we were young and impressionable and thought it was cool, I can't say that I really inhaled--my lungs just didn't want to be bothered. I have an inordinate number of friends who smoke and they like nothing more than sitting in my yard, lighting up a few. I like hanging with my friends, but I always pay for it--the nicotine I breathe keeps me up at night, no question.
    My least favorite expeience with cigarette smoke has to be at restaurants with outdoor patios. I care not for the smell of smoke while I'm eating, or worse, having enjoyed a delightful meal in a restaurant, to be assaulted with smoke immediately upon exiting the establishment, as smoking is allowed out on the patio (and the only exit way).
    It's a habit I never acquired and surely don't understand. I am grateful that a couple of my friends are trying to quit and I know how hard that is for them. Now to work on the rest of them...
  • I was incredibly lucky - when I was about 15 and probably about to start trying cigarettes, my father was told to stop smoking for health reasons. I saw how difficult it was for him to stop, and so decided not to start. I'm glad I never did.
    I hate smoke, and won't have it anywhere near my home. I smell it a mile away.
    Plus, cigarettes contain formaldehyde - and who wants that around?
    Not to mention that the very same argument methods that were used to dispel the "myth" that smoking is bad for you and may cause cancer, are being used today against the dangers of climate change.

My Thoughts

100% of the 15 people who participated in this survey have banned smoking from their lives. That's great and I applaud them, especially since some of them tried smoking when they were younger and/or grew up in households where a parent smoked.

Are their responses typical of the green-living community? Maybe not!

I realized a flaw in these questions ... smokers probably didn't answer them. Since smoking is generally viewed as a "negative", there wasn't a motivation to participate in this survey. After all, no one is going to congratulate them for their actions and admitting their habit opens the door to a lot of bad "vibes".

In all fairness, the questions were one sided!

Not long ago, I met a man who was very involved in establishing alternative energy sources. He was passionate about the environment and cautioned everyone that "our" abuse of nature would cost us dearly. He admonished people to make changes now ... otherwise nature would fight back to our peril.

I learned that this person is a smoker. It boggled my mind that an environmentalist could be so passionate in one area but totally negligent in another.

My Conclusions

Living green is about educating ourselves and doing the best we can to protect the environment. Their are some grey areas. For example, many "greenies" struggle with buying Eco-friendly products which aren't made locally. And do we toss out a usable item because it isn't green and buy something new which is? Our choices aren't always clear cut.

In my opinion, however, smoking doesn't fall into the grey area. It's pollution ... period! And I further believe that true environmentalists embrace all green-living concepts ... not just the ones that suit them. Does that mean that we are perfect? Not at all! It means that as we learn about what does and doesn't hurt our world, we make every attempt to live by that knowledge.

Smoking hurts the environment. A true environmentalist will make every effort to ban the practice from his or her life!

Thanks to everyone who participated!