How quickly things change.

I used to smoke. Some of my loved ones still do, and I still enjoy going out into night air to stand with them and smell the warm smoke in the cold air. It’s been a good long time since anyone’s been an inside smoker, though.

Right now, in the St.Paul’s Heart Home downstairs, we have an inside smoker. And due to the fact that our fabulous new wood floors were done sort of quickly, there’s a rather large gap in one corner of our floor under the heaters, and smoke is drifting up, mainly in the evenings.

And it makes my eyes itch. I used to have tough, smoke resistant eyes, I suppose. I didn’t notice it, away back when.

John’s putting newspaper in the hole. I suppose this is like cramming our house with tinder.

I know that people are making a movement, these days, to prevent smoking almost everywhere, including in rentals, but I don’t agree. It’s often the working and artistic classes that smoke and rent, and the government is making a lot of money on people’s addiction, here. Like gambling.

Anyway, nicotine is both an addiction and a habit – one that I tried to kill and didn’t many times over – but it is also in some ways a cultural and personal marker. It’s deeply tied into your day, in the way you cope. When I quit smoking, it was with the book “The Easyway to Quit Smoking” – and Alan Carr *understood* smoking and did not make it a moral issue. He encouraged you to smoke while reading the book so that you could watch what you were getting out of it; and if what you got was what you wanted, with all the mythologizing about cigarettes put to one side, he wasn’t arguing. He also didn’t say you were trapped in the oral stage or fascinated with penises. In fact, by neither infantilizing nor pathologizing smoking, but actually talking about what smoking is, he gave me all the information I needed to realize that part of my life was done.

The thing that changed the picture for me was his point that the moment you put a cigarette out you started withdrawing, and that’s why you’d smoke again. To feel normal again. I got rather annoyed at the idea that I was paying someone $8- per day to feel like a non-smoker, and the benefits of looking young and gothy weren’t really with me anymore.

But while I was smoking, before I watched the process of the addiction part, well? It was woven into my day.

I left when I was ready. But in between, I gave the government a whole lotta money on a legal product that, by its nature, demands dosage at regular intervals. And that means people need a place to do it. If not their homes, and no longer on roof top patios (or here, they’re trying to discourage on porches) then where?

…. Actually, come to think of it, that may be why we’re having more inside smoking. People here’ve been told not to smoke within 6 meters of doors and windows. Which would mean people had to go out to the sidewalk. Not, so far, enforced as far as I know – but some of my neighbours’ only other options would be to smoke inside with their kids in the house, and that’s hardly a desired outcome. I wonder if that’s happening here.


  1. Er… Never mind. I’ll email you.

  2. Er… Okay!

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