Over here in Belgium we do like our cafés. They oose character and are a great place to sit and relax. Especially in the summer. You can sit outside on the terrace of the café and enjoy a good beer.

The weather was good today. Lots of sunshine and the forecast for this weekend is only better. So today I enjoyed a fine beer with my girlfriend. One thing I did notice, however, was that, as the tables were quite close together, people smoking on one table meant that other tables were getting the billowing smoke blown over their tabel.

Now, I am all for the rights of the smoker. I agree to the fact that you shouldn't go to a bar and expect there not to be smoke. Don't go to the bar if you don't want to be in a smoke filled room. For that matter, people can smoke as much as they want, who am I to say what anyone can or can't do.

I start getting more of a problem when it impacts my own personal space, especially when in a public area. Outside smoking should not hinder or impact anyone else in your surrounding. If I were to sit on a park bench I'd have a serious problem if someone started puffing away next to me.

I am of the opinion that there should be mutual respect for all people(s). A minority smokers, however, feel the need to blatently disregard any consideration for their fellow man and more often than not I find myself getting irritated by a smokers' behaviour.

Is common decency a thing of the past?

Wirehead says:

I don't know how anyone smokes in summer anyway. I'm an "off & on" smoker and have been for years - I'll have a couple of cigarettes a week, sometimes several a day, for a month or two, and then not pick up another one or even think of it for four or five months. I cannot STAND smoking in remotely warm weather.

Anyway, for the average smoker your question basically equates to the following: (when speaking to a heroin addict) "Pardon me, sir, but could you please shoot up somewhere where I can't see you?" They're so intent on getting their fix that they probably have little to no awareness of anyone else being impacted by it, and when you smoke, you become less sensitive to cigarette smoke. They probably think that since your head is not actually ENVELOPED by clouds, you can't smell it, since they couldn't in similarly low concentrations.

DataBind() says:

I get your point, but your analogy is weird. I live in Seattle, surrounded by junkies, and I've never once seen anyone shooting up at a sidewalk cafe. They have the good sense to hide when they do it.

bob says:

Christ, down in LA every once in a while I'd have to kick a few crack addicts off the front of my apartment building for smoking their shit there. (I've obviously moved since then.)

For me, I'm pretty considerate when smoking, but I have to tell you, the most inconsiderate people when it comes the topic of smoking are usually the non-smokers who actually go out of their way to make sure you don't smoke. When you start equating these people with all non-smokers with other people, then the problem starts.

Oh, and smoking when it's hot is just gross. However, smoking in a hot tub is quite a pleasurable experience.

DataBind() says:

It was your fault for making your home in the middle of their crack nest. ;)

bob says:

Actually they didn't live at the apartment. They'd just come by to smoke their crack, but I don't disagree -- that's why I moved.

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