Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em, just get the hell out of our way!

By The Columbia Chronicle

The Chronicle


People are always fighting against smokers. Every day, someone has a new reason why people should not smoke. And every day, there is another place where smoking is banned in this country.

One day it’s “Movie stars that smoke are depicted as heroes, so now kids want to smoke,” and the next day it’s “We need to check IDs at the local White Hen because 12-year-olds are buying cigarettes.” These statements have been heard so many times, they no longer carry any meaning.

When it comes to smoking in the movies these days, everyone is doing it. We could only wish that it was just the hero smoking. For example, throughout “Clay Pigeons,” almost every character is smoking. Not just in one scene, but in every scene. What is the point of that? Why don’t directors have a problem with that? They just don’t care.

What happened to the good old days of movies when smoking meant something? When lighting up a cigarette showed the toughness of a character? Let’s get back to that final scene in “Heathers,” the one where Winona Ryder puts a smoke in her mouth, watches Christian Slater blow himself up and, when the dust settles, exhales from her explosion-lit cigarette. Now that was cool.

And as far as the convenience stores cracking down on underage smokers, that is a waste of time. Kids these days are resourceful. They will find a way to get those cigarettes into their pre-pubescent mouths. Why is this true? Perhaps because nobody cares anymore.

The convenience store clerks don’t give a crap if little Timmy develops throat cancer by the time he gets his driver’s license. As long as little Timmy keeps coming back into the store, and buys a slushee and some chips while he’s in there, it doesn’t matter to the clerks.

Parents certainly don’t seem to care much if their kids are smokers by the time their voices begin to crack. You can’t argue that parents don’t know if their kids are smoking because the stench of smoke lingers. It sticks to your wardrobe. Parents aren’t that ignorant; they just don’t seem to mind. As long as a fellow classmate doesn’t shoot little Timmy in his social studies class, mom and dad don’t care about the early warning signs of their future tracheotomy candidate.

We are not about to start fighting smokers. That would be pointless. Especially here at Columbia. Smokers must outnumber non-smokers here by a margin of ten to one. Or at least it seems that way. So there won’t be any whining about why smoking is bad for you. Every smoker knows all about why theirs is not the healthiest of habits. They don’t need to hear it again.

What we would like to discuss goes beyond the issue of smoking at Columbia. It gets back to the fact that nobody cares anymore. It has to do with a characteristic some of Columbia’s smokers possess: a complete lack of common courtesy.

When we try to enter or exit one of Columbia’s buildings, there always seems to be somebody smoking in the path of the door. Why is that? What causes people to decide that standing directly in front of the only path to and from a building is okay? So what if it’s raining, that does not make it right to block the entrance! Would you like us to open the door quickly, so that it hits you in the back of the head and causes you to swallow your cigarette? We don’t think you would like that.

Even worse, the other day, one of us was walking to class when he was so graciously ashed on by one of Columbia’s many addicts. Are you kidding us? What has this place turned into? Please try not to flick your ashes at the rest of us. We don’t want to hold on to them for you.

So, go ahead, smoke ‘em if you got ‘em. That’s fine by us. Just like you, we could care less about your health in the long run. But if you’re going to slowly kill yourself, don’t take any innocent bystanders with you. Be respectful of those around you, and no one should have a problem. At least not for the next few years.