Why I don’t smoke, but don’t mind if you do

I don’t smoke.

But I don’t condemn my friends who do. I won’t buy you cigarettes when I go to the duty-free but if we’re traveling together, you can take my cigarette allocation.

Not that I’ll be using it, anyway.

Life is hard. Dying is easy. If you think nicotine will take off the edge of how miserable life can be – that daily grind of working, of suffering cruel, stupid people (politicians especially)-then I won’t begrudge you your cancer sticks.

I don’t smoke because it doesn’t do anything for me. When I was little, I used to be plagued with chest congestion. I remember nights crying myself to sleep in pain and fear, because ohgodohgodithurtsmommyican’tbreathe. And my mother could do nothing but rub my chest with Vicks, give me warm drinks and tell me it’ll all be fine in the morning, just try to go to sleep now. She still has kittens over me; probably due to my spending more time in a sick bed than outdoors.

So voluntarily clogging up my chest with smoke does not appeal.

Or try getting viral bronchitis. It feels like a wicked witch’s turned your lungs into lead, turning even rolling onto your side an exercise in sheer masochism. But it made breathing effortlessly seem an unappreciated miracle.

I’ve puffed a few cigarettes before I joined the cast of Refugee:Images. Smoking makes singing harder – it bites at your stamina, dries out your throat and irreversibly changes the tonal quality of your voice.

And this isn’t a warning to those who already smoke. You already know what it does and you’ve made your peace with it. I pray cancer doesn’t get you. But the ones just starting out or thinking of it – get a hobby. Spend your money on better things like a good book. Good food.

Because you don’t want to be in a hospital bed at night thinking ohgodohgodithurtsican’tbreathe.

1 Comment


  1. ·

    It worries me very much when my friends smoke. I won’t preach to them as I know it does no good.
    One of my Grandfathers died from smoking. It was the Brain Tumour that finally got him, but it was a race with the lung cancer and many other problems he had from smoking.
    He had a total of twelve diseases, all lethal, from his smoking habit.
    I only have two memories of meeting him (I was too young to remember him before I went to Malaysia). Once was when he was OUT of the hospital, when he was almost Okay and seemed quiet jovial to see us, and the other was a small shrivelled up shell of a man with yellow skin [yellow like nicotine stains] struggling to breath in a hospital bed. He was unable to talk out loud and my father had to place his ear near my Grandfathers mouth to hear him. I was really scared at the time, as I was only about 8 years old.
    I REALLY don’t want to see anyone I care about go through that sort of thing again.
    My other Grandfather died when he wouldn’t give up drinking and smoking after he was told to. He had a stroke. That’s basically when your brain decides to pop a blood vessel and bleed internally IN YOUR BRAIN.
    Though it’s a nice quick way to go, I also wouldn’t want to have a friend go that way.
    Like you I’ve also suffered lung problems, from Bronchitis shortly after I was born which almost killed me, and very bad whooping cough, to asthma and scaring of the lungs.
    One good thing about Australia is smoking is banned indoors. It means people like myself can breath and taste the food we eat rather than having to breath in smoke and eat food that tastes like it has been smoking. 🙂
    So, I don’t mind if people smoke, BUT, I don’t like them smoking near me, and I won’t date anyone who smokes!
    Also, anyone wanting to give up smoking, I’ve heard hypnosis is a good way to do it. I hypnotised myself into believing I am human! See how well it works! 🙂

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