Continuing with the Thanksgiving/Good New Days series, today (and every day) I am thankful for smoke-free restaurants, homes, airplanes, offices, grocery stores, and even bowling alleys! This is a societal sea-change that is most definitely for the better.
You youngsters simply cannot imagine what it was like.
Smoking was everywhere. Not that you would have noticed, because you probably would have grown up with one or both parents smoking in your home. Even the rare families with no smokers owned ashtrays and allowed visiting friends to smoke; the social pressure to do so must have been tremendous.
At work, at play, in the theater, at a restaurant, on a bus, on a plane, in the hospital. There was no escape.
Outdoors was the best place for breathing, if there weren't too many other people around. School was relatively safe, if you stayed away from the teachers’ lounge and could get through the day without needing to use the bathroom.
Even our doctor smoked.
Go to college? Your roommate was likely to be a smoker, and that was not considered grounds for requesting a switch.
Get a job? Smoke polluted your air space, unless you were one of the lucky few who shared a room with one of them new-fangled computin’ machines. They were too valuable to be subjected to damaging smoke particles.
Who knows? Maybe it was the increasing use of computers which began to tip the balance in favor of non-smokers. The events did parallel one another. But smoke-free living didn’t just happen: much work, money, and lobbying were poured into this personal environmental cleanup action.
When it comes to tobacco smoke, now is a much better time to be living than 50 or even 25 years ago.