Buttheads Should Butt Out: Another reason I hate smokers

I’ve been accused in various places (not here) of hyperbole and overreaching in my comments about smoking.  Or been threatened and told to shut up.

Too many claim smoking is a “rights and freedumb” issue, not an environmental issue or a form of assault upon those being forced to breath it.  And little or no attention is paid to the rates of aggressive and violent behaviour amongst smokers compared to non-smokers.  Or if there is attention, it’s usually aggressive and threatening.  Thankfully there is a growing sentiment that all smoking around children should be treated as a form of child abuse.  that abuse isn’t just smokers stubbing out cigarettes on children’s bodies.  Smoking in front of anyone who objects should be illegal.


This week in Connecticut, a smoker named Paul Ferguson shot and murdered Della Jette and her brother Sterling Jette Jr. They were the teenage children of his girlfriend, Danielle Jette.  He had moved into the house only two weeks earlier.  After killing the two kids, he shot himself in the head and died.

Why did Ferguson murder them?  Because they complained about him smoking in the house.

Smokers are so addicted that they will ignore basic safety, believing “rules don’t apply to me”.

Belinda Coble of North Carolina died this week while smoking next to her oxygen tank.  She lit the cigarette, and an explosion tore through the room, killing her.  The fact that she needed pure oxygen to breathe didn’t stop her addiction, nor did explicit instructions not to smoke around pure oxygen.   This wasn’t due to forgetfulness or being half asleep in the morning or evening.  She didn’t care, she wanted that cigarette.


  1. says

    What gets me is how many nicotine addicts look down their nose at their fellow drug addicts. They can buy their poison at convenience stores but get all NIMBY when it comes to safe injection sites. At least I don’t have to hold my breath when walking past an opioid addict on the sidewalk.

    • says

      At least needles used at safe injection sites can be disposed of or even recycled. And even if they’re thrown away in the street, they are far easier to collect and dispose of. How many cigarette butts do street sweepers and sweeping machines leave behind because they’re too small to notice?

      The estimated 4.5 trillion non-biodegradble butts thrown away annually won’t go away for centuries. And a large percentage of them are thrown into the environment (amongst plants, the ocean, etc.).

      Every. Single. Day. I wait at the local bus stop and see butt ends in the rain gutters, see smokers throw them into the gutters, when a large percentage of them end up in the ocean. I live only two metres above sea level on an island delta. The selfishness never ends.

  2. invivoMark says

    I think it is very questionable (to put it as politely as I can) to hate someone because of a mental illness they suffer from. Chemical addiction is a mental illness. I understand your strong feelings, but I would strongly urge some self-reflection on how those feelings are affecting your opinions.

  3. Bruce says

    Society should be kind to those with mental illnesses, including those who speak while under the influence of a chemical dependency.
    This kindness and fairness will be more likely to be seen once society is ready to speak out when someone defends smoking in places with kids (or others) and is greeted by society with the consensus that “their opinion should be disregarded, because that’s just the nicotine dependence speaking”. Once personal and professional lobbyists for corporate greed get disregarded by everyone else, I predict the spirit of tolerance and understanding will grow.
    We don’t want to prohibit alcohol, and we understand that alcoholics are suffering from a treatable illness, but still we don’t let them pour whiskey down the throats of kids, or let them advocate that this should be done.
    We support free speech, but we don’t excuse anyone who starts a fatal panic stampede in a crowded theater by shouting “fire” falsely. We don’t advocate hating such people, but still we don’t or shouldn’t tolerate behavior that needlessly puts others at risk, even if that requires being ungenerous to people who may be acting in response to an illness of theirs.

  4. says

    And little or no attention is paid to the rates of aggressive and violent behaviour amongst smokers compared to non-smokers.

    So what? It is wrong to abuse and discriminate some person merely because they belong to some group that is statistically more likely to commit crimes. Not all smokers are aggressive and guilty of something bad.

    Smokers are so addicted that they will ignore basic safety, believing “rules don’t apply to me”.

    Firstly, this is the case only for some smokers. Many are perfectly capable of following basic safety guidelines.

    Secondly, one could feel at least some empathy towards people who suffer from addictions. It’s not their fault.

    a form of assault upon those being forced to breath it

    I agree. I don’t smoke and I hate the smell of tobacco. I don’t like being forced to breathe this crap.

    an environmental issue

    Sure, but this attitude is still problematic and somewhat hypocritical. Pretty much everything humans do harms the environment. If we ban smoking because “it causes environmental harm,” we should also ban private cars, coffee, large single-family houses/apartments, meat, fur clothing, gold jewelry, fast fashion, etc.

    It seems wrong and hypocritical to use “harm for the environment” in order to ban all the behaviors you dislike while allowing all the behaviors you personally want to engage in.

    Thus, as long as smokers smoke in places where other people do not have to breathe this crap, they probably should have the right to do so.