I feel betrayed by the smokers of America.
You see, as a non-smoker, I have observed the almost religious zeal of the anti-smoking crowd and I have been appalled.
We all know the dangers of smoking but we can't treat smokers like lepers because they make an unwise choice.
How many among us have other habits such as drinking or gambling or other repulsive addictions?
Keeping second-hand smoke away from non-smokers is important but I think often we have gone too far in vilifying smokers. There are places where smokers are not permitted to smoke OUTSIDE! In addition, if a tavern owner wants to create a haven for smokers he should have that right. Let's be smart but let's be fair and apply common sense.
Which brings me to the betrayal.
Many smokers continue to engage in throwing the glowing cigarette butt out the car window while driving. Their attitude seems to be that there is some exception to the littering law when it comes to smokers who drive.
The anti-littering campaign began in the 1960's with a Television Ad featuring an American Indian with a tear rolling down his cheek, observing the trash cast about his otherwise beautiful amber waves of grain. America has become litter-conscious since that time.
For some reason, smokers behind the wheel didn't get that memo. I challenge you to drive around your neighborhood for a half day without coming across the flick of the butt.
The most pristine and well kept avenues in this country are dotted by the remnants of Marlboro and Winston. Environmental groups estimate that 26 billion cigarette butts are thrown from the driver's window annually in America. TWENTY SIX BILLION!
That disgusting statistic doesn't even account for the danger. Drivers have had the glowing butt fly right back into the car and set the family station wagon on fire.
Throughout the nation brushfires are frequently caused by the anonymous carelessness of the Virginia Slim bouncing from Grandma's minivan. Can you say "Left Homeless in Arizona" ?
This one will break your heart. This past April, a thoughtless driver tossed his cigarette butt which landed in the back of a trailer carrying horses. The driver of the trailer was not the driver who flicked the tobacco stick. The six horses died a terrible death as the hay-lined trailer went up in flames in no time .
That is why I feel betrayed.
Smokers, I have been your best non-smoking friend when it comes to being the voice of reason.
Why do you turn on me by purposely fouling the roads I travel and putting yourselves and others in danger. DO NOT EVER THROW YOUR BUTT OUT THE WINDOW. PLEASE.
You are making it hard to be your friend.