I went out with some friends this weekend, and one of them is a smoker. This person wishes they were not, but is, so needed a cig break a time or two during the evening. I woke up the next morning and smelled like smoke. My hair was smoky, and the clothes from that night made the laundry hamper stinky.
Smoking in Los Angeles is pretty much prohibited everywhere other than your own home. As I’m not a smoker, it hasn’t disrupted me at all, and in fact has made going out to dinner and bars more pleasant. I know so few people who smoke these days. Because of that, when I am around it, it’s quite apparent.
What’s funny, is that growing up I was around smokers ALL THE TIME. My dad smoked, my grandparents smoked, my cousins smoked, and so much of the general public smoked. The smoke smell was just a part of my life. I’d have friends comment about smelling smoke on people or places. Up until the last ten or 15 years, I had no idea what they were talking about. Now that, due to health reasons or laws, less people smoke and there are fewer places to smoke, I know what clean air smells like. I am also quite aware when I am around smoking now.
It’s so rare nowadays to have students come to school smelling like smoke, but when one does they are easy to identify. I used to be that kid. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one back in the day, but I was still that kid who came to school emitting smoke fumes. Our house, car, clothes, hair, everything was smoky. The food we ate tasted like smoke. I also had terrible allergies and asthma growing up in a smoker’s home.
Even though I do not look down upon anyone who is a smoker (I’ve seen my fair share of successful and failed attempts to quit smoking and know it’s terribly hard to quit), it is rather nice to not smell that way anymore. The smoky smell brings back a lot of childhood memories (both good and bad), but it also reminds me that I’m glad I breath relatively clean air most of the time.