Soapbox Tuesdays – Smoking

Last week, there was an article on Yahoo News with the headline Going for a smoke? Don’t forget to clock out, and I have to admit, it raised a big smile from me!

I’m really glad that Breckland Council has taken the step to do away with “free” cigarette breaks and hope that all places of work will follow suit because it’s something that has gone on for far too long. Let’s look at the numbers, shall we?

Let’s be generous and say our example smoker works full-time and takes four cigarette breaks during his working day (excluding lunch and designated breaks). Let’s say he takes 5 minutes to smoke his cigarette, but also add 5 minutes for him to get to the designated smoking spot and then back to his desk.

That’s 4 breaks x 10 minutes = 40 minutes.

He has a 5-day working week, so that’s 5 days x 40 minutes = 200 minutes (which is 3 hours 20 minutes) every week.

Lets say he has 8 weeks holiday, so he’s working 44 weeks per year. That’s 44 weeks x 200 minutes = 8800 minutes per year = 146 hours 40 minutes.

Divide that by his working days (8 hours per day) and you have 18 1/3rd days spent smoking whilst at work! And all that time, his non-smoking colleagues are still working…

But it’s not just the smoking breaks that bugs me. SInce the ban came in on smoking in public buildings, it’s been a lot nicer for non-smokers who can now go to the pub without coming hom stinking of cigarette smoke, but I hate having to walk through billowing clouds of smoke as people stand outside buildings to have their cigarette breaks – often holding them at a level that is just right for hitting a small child in the face as they toddle down the street or are in their pushchairs. I also hate being stuck behind several smokers walking down the street – I can barely breathe for choking and if they’re walking two or three abreast, it’s impossible to get past them on the pavement. If the road is busy, there’s no way round them at all. Both my child and I are stuck breathing their second-hand smoke till they respond to my “excuse me, please”.

So here’s what I’d love to see – no smoking on the streets at all. Smoke in the comfort of your own homes, in your car, and in designated smoking spots, but not right on the street where the rest of us have to walk through it. I really hope that’s the way things are headed!

I’d be interested in hearing your point of view, whether you agree or disagree. Please leave a comment below and, if you post on your own blog, please leave a link to your Soapbox Tuesdays post!


6 responses to “Soapbox Tuesdays – Smoking

  1. Being a non-smoker my entire life it is a nuisance to go places that do allow cigarette smoking, especially when the non-smokers have to walk through them to get to the designated non-smoking area of a business…
    I so agree with you about wishing no one could smoke on a public street, period! I too hate to walk behind or through a crowd of smokers to get to where I am going and arrive there stinking like their smoke!
    I hate going out to eat after washing my hair, bathing and putting on clean clothes and then coming home from public places smelling like I had gone to a smoky bar room all because of the people standing outside smoking that I had to walk past on my way inside!

    What I would really love to see is all the smokers wake up to the fact that they are harming themselves, after all if they were not why do they have upper respiratory problems all the time? Why do they have heart problelms? Why do they die of lung cancer? Cigarettes and cigars may be something that used to be “fashionable” but these days with all the available information showing how much damage they do cannot understand why so many people still indulge in the nasty stinky habit!

    jackie >_<

  2. May I respectfully disagree, and offer a dissenting opinion?

    By way of introduction: Some people say I’m a chain-smoking, semi-drunken ex go-go dancer from the ’60s – and I guess that sums it up nicely. But I’m also a celebrity – and as a celebrity, I set my own rules concerning where and when I smoke. Wherever I light up automatically becomes the smoking section. I ALWAYS smoke on airline flights, and rarely have a problem with it. A fistful of dollars handed to the flight attendant usually takes care of things at the beginning of the flight, and I give the stink-eye to passengers who have a problem with me, and if that doesn’t work, a few screamed obscenities usually does the trick. If all else fails, I’ll head to the lavatory – you ever seen what a stiletto heel does to a smoke detector?

    Of course I’ve heard the claims about the adverse effects of smoking – that’s why I had an ashtray installed on my exercise bike – right next to the cupholder for my Scotch.

    Let’s face it, smokers are much more interesting and attractive people than non-smokers. I’m a good example… if I didn’t smoke, do you think I would have had my own television specials, guest-starred on numerous TV shows, and starred in several motion pictures? And what about all the stars I’ve slept with? Could I have done that if I were a non-smoker? Of course not. Just ask the game-show host who told me I couldn’t smoke during the show – I put my cigarette out in his eye, and walked off the set. Of course, I would never do things like this out of meanness – I’m simply a strong, assertive female, a worthy role model to all you kids out there. And, I suppose some of it does stem from meanness…

    And one last point – I’m not looking for any payments from “Big Tobacco” because I smoke – truth be told, I may owe them a few bucks, since I occasionally shoplift a couple packs here and there – you know how it is…

    Your friend,


    Stop by if you need cheering up, ok? I write my blog when I’m half-crocked, that makes it better:

    • I laughed so hard reading your comment I nearly spluttered coffee all over my keyboard – LOL!

      Thanks for stopping by, Roxy.

      • Thank you! I know what you mean about the coffee, sort of – only with me, it’s usually splashing my gin due to the shakes. I did try coffee once, when I was in rehab… I said no, no, no.
        As we get closer to Christmas, I may do a post about my Christmas traditions – Every Christmas Eve, I used to go to the apartment building my cousin Tito owned, and we would sing Nigerian Christmas carols while he accompanied us on the accordian. We then would go door-to-door throughout the building and hand out eviction notices to the tenants. I treasure the memories …

  3. I’ll look forward to that Xmas traditions post, Roxy. 😉