Post Office Encounters

Healthy living is  touted everywhere. Billboards announce it. Magazines report it. Some who purport to live it, probably don't. But who can judge?

Today, while standing in queue at the post office, I smelled a strong nicotine odor. It permeated the pores of the man who stood in front of me. Tall, thin, graying, he looked about 50 something. Still young by my standards. The smell was really overpowering for me. As I've gotten older, I find that cigarette smoke does bother me. At times, I try to respect the other person's "right" to smoke, as oxymoronic as that may sound, and walk away. But today, feeling rushed and refusing to leave the post office, I just stood there and endured the smell. 

For a minute, the man resembled a cigarette - tall, lean, reeking of nicotine. I tried holding my breath at times to no avail. The smell had pervaded my nostrils, albeit temporarily. As he walked away, the smell lingered. Once my business was complete, my lungs sought fresh air. Whew! Outside, I inhaled deeply, trying to clear the debris.

Second hand smoke. Always controversial. The  arguments go both ways. Whose rights are being infringed upon? The smoker or recipient of second hand smoke? On occasion, I do complain to smokers about inhaling cigarette smoke, second hand smoke and the dangers of smoking. But what do you say to a health care provider who smokes? For that matter, what do you say to anyone who smokes?


Free your lungs.



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