While waiting for the light to change at the corner of 14th and 3rd this morning, a girl blew cigarette smoke in my face while I was taking a swig of juice. The taste of the hundreds of chemicals masked the taste of my juice. It was disgusting. I nearly choked. And I nearly choked her.
I’m going to make a bold statement here. It’s not one that my cancer-stick-loving friends will take lightly. Nor is it one that my freedom-loving friends will take lightly.
If urinating in public is illegal, smoking in public should be illegal.
Urinating in public is illegal because it is perceived to be detrimental to society. It is unsightly. But it is not unhealthy. Urine is sterile once it leaves the human body. It does not contain bacteria. Hell, you can use fresh urine to clean wounds (remember that next time you drunkenly trip on the sidewalk). The smell that lingers from the urine stain on the sidewalk is enough to make someone gag, but it’s not unhealthy. Urine doesn’t pollute our air and groundwater. And let’s face it: when you gotta go, you gotta go.
Smoking in public is undoubtedly detrimental to society. It is not necessarily unsightly. After all, a smoking, brooding hipster is infinitely cooler-looking than a non-smoking, brooding hipster. But it can kill you and the people around you. Each breath of secondhand smoke takes time off your life. It smells bad, and it’s unhealthy. Cigarette smoke and cigarette butts pollute our air and water. And no matter what kind of addictive grasp nicotine has on your body, smoking will never be a bodily function.
So, if smokers are going to keep bitching that their rights are being taken away, why haven’t serial public urinators ever staged an uprising? Just sayin’.