Thursday, Aug. 9, 2007 | It does, in fact, seem like Communism that people are not allowed to smoke in the open ocean breeze. Truck and automobile exhausts undoubtedly contribute more impurities to the air than a few cigarettes. There seems to be very few places left where a smoker can legally smoke.

Although I now know that smoking is indeed harmful to my health, I still have not managed to quit. I have cut down from two-and-a-half packs a day to one pack a day. From a list of reasons why people smoke, I fit into every category. I have managed to quit for short periods a couple of times but I thought that I could have an occasional cigarette. That is certainly not true for me. One cigarette and I am right back in the smoking circle again. I feel like I need to join “Cigarette Smokers Anonymous”. “Hello. My name is Linda and I am a smoker.”

I am much more aware when I am near people if the smoke might go in their direction. I also make sure that I don’t leave cigarette butts behind where I have smoked. If an ashtray is not available, I merely step on the cigarette, pinch the butt to be sure it is out, and slip it into the cellophane of the cigarette package that I took it from until I can properly dispose of it. I no longer leave the cigarette butt on the ground for someone else to sweep away or dispose of.

I believe that signs should remind people to properly dispose of their cigarettes but I do not believe that smoking should be totally banned in so many open-air places. The fine for improper disposal of cigarettes ought to be community service dedicated to cleaning up cigarette butts that other people have thrown down. That would certainly make smokers aware of their responsibility.

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