Introduction

This half-essay half-journal-entry was written by me, Brandon Nolet, in the context that I am sick and tired of people smoking at bus stops.

Contention

In Canada, and I’m sure in many other nations, we have this contention between smokers and non-smokers. “You can’t smoke on the terrace!” “It’s a public space!” “No, the restaurant owns it.” It’s all the rage these days to argue about smoking vs. non-smoking.

Considering the landscape today, I’m shocked every time I remember that there were smoking and non-smoking sections inside restaurants, and that even before that, there wasn’t even the concept of a non-smoking section! Now, smoking is not only banned inside the restaurants, but also outside the restaurants.

This contention was intensified the moment that cannabis was legalized for reacreational use in all the provinces and territories.

Personal Investment

My parents smoked all my life, or at least as long as I can remember. They smoked inside the house, smoked in the car, smoked at the restaurant, when you could, and even smoked in bed. Now, my parents are lovely people, but the smoke really put me off, especially due to the smell.

In a way, it kept me from actually adopting a cigarette smoking habit, even if I did dabble in it for two weeks when I was 14 years old. I would say that’s too young, but I wasn’t adversely affected by my experimentation. About two weeks in I started being like “why am I sneaking around and smoking this crap? It’s just getting me dizzy” and that was it.

That being said, I did take up a cannabis habit into my early 20s. Living with a stoner didn’t help, even if I had smoked weed a few times here and there beforehand. With Jeremy (fake name), it was difficult to not get high considering how much he smoked. I didn’t mind it, as it helped me take a load off from the schoolwork that I was doing at the time.

These days I smoke cannabis more regularly but only at nights, after most of anything I have to do has been done. I can write with a buzz, but I find it much harder to do so, and I feel the quality of writing suffers. I want to be clear though, I would never smoke before or during work hours.

I did that once and I regretted it sorely. I felt super sluggish, I got paranoid that my colleagues knew I was high. Since I knew my supervisor wouldn’t give me shit for it, I just told him how I was feeling and he was like “naw dude, you’ve been working at full speed, I didn’t even notice.” Phew.

Where Not to Smoke

Even though I personally smoke, I have an issue with many many many smokers, those who partake in the smoking of cannabis, and otherwise. Often I find cigarette butts and roaches on the ground near entryways, on the side of the street, at bus stops, and even inside apartment buildings!

One of the most egregious encounters I’ve had was with a man on the bus late at night who insisted on smoking his joint and vaping. When I asked him to stop, he’s saying “what are you gonna do about it?.” This was the middle of winter so I opened the window to get some fresh air. I had my earphones in so the wind on the side of my face didn’t bother me.

This guy reaches over me and slams the window shut. I didn’t see him pull out either smoking apparatuses afterward.

The place that probably bothers me the most, that people often smoke, is at a bus stop. No, they’re not standing a ways off away from the line. They’re in the middle of the line, puffing a cloud of smoke upwind from all the other transit riders.

Like, I understand if you’ve just gotten off work and you need to smoke before getting on the bus, or whatever. I wish they would have a little more societal awareness. Even if I was one of those people, I would be standing away from the queue. If you want the luxury of being able to have a smoke before you get on the bus, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

The smell is disturbing, the secondhand smoke is damaging, most around you think you’re being an asshole, you have to awkwardly smoke while people are staring at you. How is that not enough to convince you to get out of line?

Conclusion

As you can see, this is a contentious topic for myself as well. I usually offer to save the person’s place, but yet I’ve still had encounters with individuals who refused to get out of line. That’s usually when I call them an inconsiderate asshole.