Smokers and Smell: a Rant [en]

[fr] Coup de gueule contre la fumée... son odeur surtout. Chers amis fumeurs: je vous aime quand même.

I’ve been wanting to write this post for ages but holding back because of fear I’ll offend my smoking friends. I have many smoking friends. Close friends. I’ve had smoking lovers and boyfriends. So, keep in mind while reading this that I don’t throw away the person for the smoke.

Now for the rant. Brace yourselves.

Smokers smell. I’m sorry, but there is no other way to put it. I know that people are smokers before I see them light up, if I get close enough for “la bise” (our standard local greeting here). And not only heavy smokers.

Smokers, clearly, do not realize how much they smell. I know smoking takes away some of your sense of smell. And we get used to smells we live in. But I don’t live in smoke, and I have a good nose.

A heavy smoker friend of mine once taunted me saying smoke didn’t stink. I said it did for me. I asked him to imagine a smell he really hated, and now imagine hanging out with people who smelled like that. Or easier: how would you like hanging out with somebody who kept spraying toilet deodorant around them? Or who never washed?

I won’t even get into the whole kissing/physical intimacy thing.

Smokers also don’t realize how far a non-smoker can smell a light cigarette. If we’re in a restaurant and you light a cigarette at the other end, I’ll smell it. Even outside. (Insert something about people smoking under bus stops here. Specially when it rains.) It’s not because we’re outside that your cigarette doesn’t bother me even 10 meters away.

Sure, you have a right to smoke. And I have a right not to breathe foul-smelling air.

Related pet peeves? Smokers who smoke in non-smoking places. Or on the verge of non-smoking places. Smokers who come and sit on my bench to light their cigarette — upwind. People who sit next to me on the bus smelling like old ashtray. The wall of smoke you have to walk through to exit or enter a building nowadays.

Yes, I’m an intolerant bitch at times.

To be fair, not all smokers are as bad. I know smokers who pay attention to staying as nice-smelling as possible. Who make sure their smoke is not coming in my direction. Who will walk away a bit from a group of people to light their fag. And who try to quit. Given how many smoking friends I have who are trying/have tried/try to quit, it’s clearly horribly hard to do. Don’t give up. Smell is important.

Thanks for putting up with my rant. Dear smoking friends: I still love you, even if I sometimes wish you smelled nicer…

#back2blog challenge (2/10):