Ok, this is a ranting post but after I had to sit through a meeting last night where the attendees cheerfully chain-smoked their way through whole packs of cigarettes, I've had enough! Smoking if you wish to kill yourself by way of a slow and painful death is fine. Dragging others along with you with your secondary smoke isn't.
I've always found smokers rather selfish in that respect. They light up everywhere and anywhere as long as they have the urge with nary a thought for the others who are frantically fanning the cigarette smoke away from their faces and gulping for a breath of fresh air. Worse are those who happily smoke in the car with their kids or babies around them.
Having been brought up in a family of non-smokers who abhor smokers of any sort, we've become pretty sensitive to cigarette smoke. We'll deliberately move our chairs away from smokers or move to get a better table if we're near any. In fact, when we first went to Izzi without a reservation and had to be put in the smoker's area, we practically rushed through our dinner just so that we could leave before anyone in there chose to light up! I personally too hate the smell of stale smoke on a smoker. It's a certain distinctive smell that is a big turn-off.
I must say, though, that it can be quite amusing to watch those puffing away hungrily in the glass enclosed room of the smokers' lounge in airports. They always have this hunted look in their eyes as if they're on their death row which I guess no cigarette on a 20 or 30 hour flight is close enough to death for them.
I think Hong Kong has set the right move in banning smokers in most public places, even parks and main areas. We should do something similar here. It'll probably lead to cleaner air and healthier people. I know smoking is an addiction but I always believe that wherever there's a will, there's a way. And if you want to stop smoking bad enough, you will because your inner resolve will be stronger than any outside influence can be.
Maybe all we need here are glass smoking booths strategically placed at various spots of the city. That way, all smokers can cram in there to smoke and breathe in each other's toxins and secondary smoke without killing the rest of the population who wish for a breath of fresh air.