(Disclaimer: I know some smokers that I love dearly and who are very considerate in their smoking habits, and manage not to make everything in their vicinity smell smoky. This is not aimed at them.)
I just got a book in the mail that I ordered from an Amazon Marketplace seller. The book’s condition is fine — but it stinks. Stinks to high heaven. Stinks of cigarette smoke. When I read the book, I feel my throat contract and I just want to throw the book away. It’s awful.
The description of the book did not mention the smoke smell. Possibly the seller did not even notice. (And it’s possible the smell came from a previous owner, not the seller herself. I have owned a smoky book for 4 years and it still smells of smoke, though not as strongly. But if I resell it, I will have to mention the smoke smell.)
But, hey, smokers? Cigarette smoke smells like crap. You smell bad. The things you keep around you stink. I know you probably don’t realize this, since smoking ruins your sense of smell, but my God, it is amazing how bad smokers and their things smell, and amazing how little smokers probably realize this. Because no one wants to smell bad, right? Wouldn’t they take steps to avoid this?
Books that you have owned reek. Furniture, clothing, automobiles, and any other items you own that are capable of absorbing odors stink. At least cleaning will remove some of it, but other things are more difficult to fix.
When you walk past me on the sidewalk, you stink. Honestly. You probably wear deodorant every day and pride yourself on cleanliness, but it doesn’t help this problem. When you come up to talk to me, I lean away because of the smell, or I hold my breath as much as possible. But I will never tell you what I am thinking. Maybe you would be ashamed to know that I am not the only one who notices that you smell funny. Almost everyone who doesn’t smoke notices, which means, here in Seattle, about 80% of the people you meet are thinking something like “Hmm, nice guy, but he smells terrible.”
The last taxicab I rode in stunk terribly. The cab driver wasn’t smoking with us in the car, but it didn’t matter. It stunk of stale old smoke. I would pay an extra 10 cents a mile fare for a clean, non-smelly cab. Maybe more.
I believe you have the right to smoke. Don’t get me wrong. I just wonder if smokers have a clue how foul it really is, to those of us who don’t smoke. It really is as if you never take a bath, or something.
So if you want to smoke, go ahead, but the least you can do is mark your eBay or Amazon sales items with “SMELLS LIKE CIGARETTE SMOKE” — even if you don’t notice the smell — so non-smokers like me can go buy items that don’t smell rotten. I would appreciate it.