It’s hard to believe

that people once generally smoked as much as they once did.

My parents both smoked and my childhood and teenage homes smelled of cigarettes. When I started teaching, lunchrooms and workrooms stank of smoke, and it would cling to clothes, skin, and hair.

It’s hard to believe that I once played music for three years in bars, lounges, legions, and halls from ’73-75 which were literally smoke-polluted. I did appreciate moving back to Edmonton just to get away from smoky venues.

But smoking continued to be a problem socially and generally. People smoked on buses, trains, and planes. You couldn’t breathe clean air anywhere there were people. Pipes and cigars were also more common then, too.

I can still remember when I wear a G.A.S.P. (group against smokers’ pollution) badge to a staff meeting in the mid-’70s. Smokers were in their prime and laughed at this choice.
But eventually the tables turned and clean air became the norm as smoking was banned just about everywhere. Of course, not before tobacco companies made their billions and millions of smokers died (including my parents) from tobacco use and inhalation.

Now today, we are–thanks to Mr. Selfish Selfie–about to return to smoky times–this time more pungent. Pot smells will pollute the air again just about everywhere people live, work, and try to pursue leisure. Plus ca change. A big step backwards and very hard for apartment and condo dwellers as well as kids and families. The cancer rate will soar again.

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