Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Please do not smoke near the Presto machines or the ticket stampers

I've suffered with asthma my whole life and as an adult, I find it harder to tolerate second-hand cigarette smoke then when I was younger.

In college, I used to be stupid and would take a drag off friends' cigarettes simply for the headrush only to cough for hours afterwards. See? Stupid.

Asthma aside, I think the low tolerance stems from how little I am exposed to it these days. Unlike when I was a kid and everyone smoked. My parents used to smoke in the car with myself and my sisters in the back and one window cracked open.

My first newspaper job was in an office where everyone smoked. I went home smelling like an ashtray every night.

Now we can go to nightclubs and bars and come home smelling like we did when we left.

I imagine smokers feel like they've become lepers in society. They've been pushed out and into smoking in doorways and that my friends, is THE PROBLEM.

No matter where I go downtown, I am subjected to plumes of cigarette smoke as I enter and exit buildings. The worst is Union Station, the east side near the GO Concourse, it's a wall of smokers and the west Teamway is horrific. I tried to walk through there once and came out gasping and wheezing for air. The east Teamway isn't any better as the smokers like to congregate around the doors.

It is a free country but I still think some smokers push the envelope a little bit with where they choose to smoke without being aware they're actually bothering people, even though nothing forbids them from smoking where they're smoking. This is where a little common courtesy helps.

For the past several mornings, at the Oshawa GO station, this girl has been standing right beside the three Presto machines, at the entrance to the platform, and smoking. There's nothing stopping her from smoking there but she has the entire grounds surrounding the station, the bus platforms and the parking lot to smoke but nope, she smokes RIGHT THERE.

This morning, I said something. I said, "I'm sorry to say this, but people, myself included, should not have smoke blown in our faces while using the machines."

I pointed out her smoke could be bothersome to commuters who need to use the machines and asked if she would consider standing with the other smokers.

She apologized and then said, "I don't like to smoke there because it makes my clothes stink."

The hell?

Rarely am I at a loss for words so I said nothing in response. I think I may have nodded which probably only validated her feelings and added to her sense of entitlement.

My God.

She must be the mastermind behind this sign.


Anonymous said...

The past few mornings at Oshawa there has been a young-ish guy smoking a spliff in that space by the handicap spots, right where you walk to the trains. Must be medicinal, right? Last thing I want to smell at 6:05 am.

DF said...

I thought it is illegal to smoke on Go property and where the buses are? There are lots of no smoking signs posted on the same posts as the bus route signs. Not that they prevent the bus drivers from smoking next to their buses.
As for the mentally challenged smoker, wow talk abou clueless. She must blame her stinky clothes on other smokers. Oh wait she most likely doesn't realize her clothes, breath or hair stink because most smokers have lost a large percentage of their sense of smell.

Anonymous said...

I was struggling to come up with a word. DF nailed it.
Mentally challenged smoker indeed.

Squiggles said...

I worked with people who smoked. I made them walk around the building (didn't matter the weather) to "air out" before they came back in. The smell gave me a headache.

I have also had run-ins with people (at Cullin Gardens for example) who said: "Until they make it illegal to smoke in a park/public space, I will continue to do so", even though my Mom was having an asthma attack. It was my mom's problem, not hers.

It is that attitude I see in the smokers that walk along the bus/GO platform smoking, even though it is signed "No Smoking".


ExGOnowTTC said...

Smokers now of course feel like they're a minority group that's discriminated against. And many of them react like that when asked to either not smoke or move away. The same minority group that flick their cigarettes on the ground once they're done.
Personally, i think smokers shouldn't be able to get lung transplants. Or if they do, be put at the bottom of the list.

Anonymous said...

I'm a smoker. I hate it and I completely agree with the comments here. I do my best to avoid subjecting anyone to my sad habit. There is nothing more fowl than have to walk through the smoke except for perhaps the rancid smell left after. My favourite without a doubt are the construction laborers who feel entitled to smoke at platform level. Alas nothing will change anytime soon. GO is too gutless to enforce any rules for fear of offending someone. Their only obsession is having "Safety Officers" checking tickets. Just look at the parking lot at Ajax if you want an example.

Matt said...

I’m a smoker, and won’t even attempt to justify those people who smoke near common areas like Presto machines or bus shelters. If it’s raining, I slyly use an umbrella instead of the bus shack or the covered shelter by the Presto machines at Bramalea GO. I have been specifically told (when inadvertently smoking where I shouldn’t be) by the GOstapo at Bramalea to smoke either by the bike racks, or any of the parking lots. Seemed strange to me that the bus platform is a no-no, but step back 6 inches and off the curb, and you’re fine. But who am I to question their infinite logic?

Point is, I know people don’t like smoke blown in their faces. I try to wander off by myself to avoid such a problem. I make it a point not to haul on my cigarette if I’m standing at a red light waiting to cross the’s rude to smoke in a crowd like that. I try to be at either the front or the back of a crowd walking to Union as well to avoid disturbing others in my immediate vicinity. I do what I can to minimize the impact of my habit on others. Maybe I’m just a nice guy, or maybe I realize that smoking is a nasty habit and not only should I quit, but I shouldn’t subject others to it. Or just maybe, those self-righteous fucksticks are just giving nice people who happen to also smoke a bad rap.

McDarver said...

There's a woman of 'mature age' on the Barrie Line who stops every morning across from the Presto/Cancellation machines in the tiny laneway leading to the to the tracks to have her 'ciggie smoke'. The laneway also empties onto the accessible ramp. This woman then flicks her 1/2 smoked ciggie through the chain link fence about 2 inches onto the grass on the other side and then walks away down the platform. That leaves her smoldering butt stench (pun intended) to waff over those of us standing on the accessible ramp. I really want to fart on her as she prances by and let her enjoy that lingering aroma.

deepfish said...

I have compromised lung capacity (only one really working) since my diaphragm got paralysed as a side effect of cardiac surgery. Because of that I have trouble clearing my lungs. A cold usually develops into pneumonia... When I breathe in cigarette smoke I get a pretty nasty reaction. I've grown tired of even asking these idjits to obey the law - because to do that I have to get close to them. So I've been taking pics and otherwise annoying them back. Quite satisfying... The usual response by these self-entitled oblivious jerks is to try to claim that taking their picture is somehow illegal, or an infringement on their rights. This as they stand under a no-smoking sign. One clown this morning took out his cell phone after I took his picture and took my picture back. He asked how I felt about it. I replied that it was perfectly legal, and since he was busy taking my picture he no longer had a cigarette in his hand under the no smoking sign, so I was doubly happy... The look on his face was priceless. I think the nicotine stunts their brains... or maybe their brains are already stunted, so they choose to smoke like that...