Warning: I put the word rant in the title as full disclosure!
What in hell makes perfectly intelligent people do something as stupid as smoke cigarettes, cigars, or anything else that involves putting something burning in their mouths and sucking on it?
Case in point: I work at a university research laboratory, where a majority of the people working there are younger than I am. These people have gone through the same extensive education process as I have (if not more), and have not been living in a cave somewhere that the negative aspects of smoking have been lost upon them. Yet, I find an increasing number of young people addicted to the crap. Older people who grew-up in the 50s, well maybe I can understand that a bit... But not the younger people. Not the people who claim to be so more intelligent than everyone before them.
The reason for this rant, and the reason why I'm damn angry right now is that, like the gazillion of you who are allergic to pollens and shit, I am allergic to smoke. I end up with headaches and sinus infections. The odor itself is irritating. Some people in this damn laboratory complex where I work have decided to smoke in the courtyard between wings of the building, right below the "fresh air" intake on the roof for the air conditioning system. So as I sit in my office throughout the day, I feel increasingly more ill.
Oh, yes, I have complained about this in a rational and sane way, and that has not achieved anything. And it won't. I promise. I'm not a director or a research scientist who is supposed to be so much more intelligent (and allegedly making money for the organization, when they're not shooting-the-shit with the other nicotine addicts in the courtyard).
So people -- listen-up. Smoking is dangerous. It harms you and the people around you, who sometimes have no choice but to breathe the exhaust from your habit. You're here to work, not smoke. If you're that addicted to a chemical, then perhaps you can go through rehab like the rest of the drug addicts out there. Either way, find some way of satisfying your addiction without making me ill. I have 10 more years working here before I retire. Don't make me put that cancer stick up your god damn ass in the meantime (actually, that visual gives me some amount of guilty pleasure...cigasuppositories).
If you can't kick your smoking addiction, then don't preach to me or anyone else about how harmful drugs are or how intelligent you are. You're an asshole and a nicotine addict and I don't care if you can do FFTs in your sleep, you haven't mastered a simple thing like consideration of other people and realizing how harmful this addiction is to you and everyone around you. Go straight to hell. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200.
I wish that saying this made me feel better.
Edited Aug. 17, 2010:
I actually spoke with my mother about this topic today, and she brought up another stupid thing about smoking: It's expensive. I can't really say I have much sympathy for people who complain about money while they have a cigarette hanging out of their mouth...