Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Smokers’ Rights groups, of which there are many, would not like my recent poem on smoking. Most smokers are more sensitive now to other people’s feelings than they used to be. That’s a happy result of the various bans and restrictions that have been placed on smoking in recent years. Many smokers were resentful, however, and even militantly resistant to those restrictions in the early years, and too many of them seemed determined to flaunt their “right to smoke.” I had them in mind when I wrote this poem during that period. The questions are still relevant!

Do smokers' rights include the right to jeopardize our health,
         or to ignore the smoking laws of any commonwealth?
Do smokers' rights include the right to foul the air we breathe?
         When people smoke in crowded rooms or offices, I seethe!
Do smokers' rights include the right to throw their butts or stubs
         on office floors or people's lawns, on sidewalks, roads, or shrubs?
Do smokers' rights include the right to take offense or grouse
         because non-smokers would prefer they don't smoke in the house?
Do smokers want to claim the right to lead their kids astray?
         For kids will smoke tomorrow if their parents smoke today!

(from If I Do Say So Myself)

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