Motivation, What I Mean When I Say

“Don’t Smoke Around Me”

First of all, yuck. Second of all, I’m not just being pretentious I promise. There’s a reason you shouldn’t smoke around me, or anyone else for that matter.

But I’ll cut to the chase.

I have sensitive lungs. And I am sensitive to a lot of chemicals. Which means that your one puff of smoke near me can give me a migraine. Smoking an entire cigarette around me? I’ll be nauseous. And coughing. A lot.

But that’s only one reason. There are a million and two reasons why I or someone else might not want you to smoke around them. First, however, let’s calm down.


dirty addiction cigarette unhealthy
Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

I understand that this is your choice. And that’s fine. It’s your body, your decision. Do I think it’s a bad one? Yeah, I do. And there are plenty of statistics to back me up on that one. Regardless, it is your choice and I will respect that even if I don’t agree with it. You won’t catch me ever telling you to stop, to quit, or even to cut back because my voice doesn’t matter. At least, not in this regard. It’s up to you whether or not you stop. So don’t worry, I don’t hate you for it. I don’t judge you for it. And I won’t say anything to you about it unless you bring up. That being said, relax a little when people choose to walk away from it or tell you that you reak of smoke.

Recognize this:

Smoking is your choice. Not being around smoking is their choice. 

So don’t hop up on your high horse and get miffed at someone else for choosing that. I know we might look obnoxious holding our breath, holding shirts over our faces, or running past an area that is filled with smoke and smokers. It’s not about you, it’s about them. Right?

You don’t have to take it as a personal affront.

So respect the people who don’t want to be exposed to that, whatever their reason is. I implore you to try and smoke far away from buildings, away from sidewalks that are full of people, or at the very least be conscious that you could be really hurting someone.


Let’s get into it. Really into it.

1. Illness

So there are a lot of lung diseases out there. A lot. And breathing isn’t easy for everyone. Some people cannot tolerate even the smallest amount of cigarette smoke. It’s not just unpleasant, it’s dangerous to them. It could damage their lungs, decrease lung function, or anything of the sort. It might not be comfortable for them to run past or ask you to smoke elsewhere, but it is something they have to do.

Asthma is under this. I have exercise-induced asthma (nope, not fun) but I’ll also get an attack if I’m exposed to certain chemicals and irritants which of course cigarettes contain. I don’t want that. Especially when I’m on my run. So if you start smoking, don’t be surprised to see me run the other way. It’s for my health.

Smoking is dangerous.

2. Allergies

This is a little different than illness in that it might not seem as dangerous but it can negatively impact a person just as much. Right? For me, if you’ve smoked in your clothes and you touch my face, I’ll get a cold sore because I’m that allergic. If it’s on you and I’m working out with you, I will feel sick later. I will have a stuffy nose, a scratchy though, and sometimes even a cough.

Again, I can’t tolerate it. It doesn’t mean I’m judging you.

3. Secondhand smoke kills (Thirdhand smoke?)

Okay here’s the real deal. I’m not willing to die for your choices. This sounds really mean, right? But it isn’t. Secondhand smoke kills children, adults, anyone it wants and that’s not fair. No one would ask for that because our decisions and our choices are our own. It wouldn’t be fair for my break your leg if I broke mine in an accident, right? Why then is it fair to subject people to smoke that is known to cause cancer, heart problems, lung problems, and a slew of other problems? It isn’t.

That brings me to thirdhand smoke. Not a ton of research has gone into this, but it is there. And it’s the reason I feel ill training with people who smell strongly of cigarette smoke.

Thirdhand smoke is all the gunk that gets in your hair, clothes, and furniture. And it does impact people especially kids who put their hands in their mouths.


I’m not going to link any articles or proven studies because we all know about cigarettes. It’s been beaten into us our whole lives, at least that’s the case for my generation. It’s bad. We know.

We tend to view healthy people as “crazy” or “bad” though we might not admit it. I promise I’ll write a whole article on this. But this mentality plays into smoking and when people hustle by as you smoke.

Sure, some people will judge you. More important than that though is that most people are just looking out for themselves. So if I don’t want you to smoke around me, understand that it isn’t personal. Not one bit! I just cannot personally tolerate it.

Let’s cut each other some slack and make the world a little kinder. And maybe a little less smokey for some people.

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