Sympathy for the smokers

January 12, 2012


Regarding the letter by Phil Brainard, of Aberdeen, in response to my previous letter entitled "Steaming Over Smoking Ban," thank you for your rebuttal. That's the way democracy is supposed to work. I do,however have to take issue with some of your comments. I cannot speak for every smoker in this county, as far as whether they take their expended butt with them when they are finished their cigarette, but I personally, do not throw my butt on the ground.

Instead I will look for a trash can in which to deposit it. If such a container is not available, I will take it to my car where I keep a trash bag for just this type of useage.

As far as smoking around other people who do not smoke, I will walk away from these folks as a courtesy, to indulge my habit. If you happen to get an unintended whiff of my second hand smoke because of a shift in wind direction, oops,sorry! I can't do anything about which direction the wind blows, and making a more than reasonable effort to not contaminate your space with my "stinky dangerous smoke" from my cigarette, is all I can do for you.

You brought up the subject of smoking around children. Many of my smoking friends have children, and we will go outside the confines of the house, i.e. the back yard or somewhere else outside to have a puff or two. Some of their children are now grown up and have NEVER expressed an intrest in (or taken up the habit) just because they saw us smoking. That argument holds no water.

You mention, that there is a ot of help out there for smokers to stop smoking. This is true. I have tried most of this "help" cessation programs, nicotine replacement therapy, perscriptions such as Chantix, and other ways, even the "cold turkey" method. They did not work.

What you and people like you need to understand is that nicotine is one of the most addictive substances out there. Its addiction factor is even higher than cocaine or crack.It's not like us smokers are trying to give up chocolate or sweets. My sincere condolences regarding the loss of your father to lung cancer. Perhaps, we should not be attacking the smoker, but rather be going after the tobacco companies who research, market and manufacture a highly dangerous ( the addiction factor and the known carcinogens) and addictive product.

I realize that no one is "forcing us" to buy their products, but that doesn't make the facts any easier. We are in a sense addicts to a substance that is legally sold and taxed with the blessings of the governor and the General Assembly of Maryland. Have a little bit of sympathy for us.

Tim Flaherty

Bel Air

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