Smoking can be tricky business in certain situations. One has to be careful about not harming or offending anyone while indulging in their daily dose of nicotine. Keeping certain points in mind can effectively minimise the dirty looks and judgemental stares you're bound to receive if careless with your habit. Apart from the obvious no-smoking-in-public policy, many factors of consideration tend to slip into oblivion with time.
So, let's refresh some rules of smoking conduct?
1. Avoid smoking in the presence of non-smokers. Period. If you happen to be in a big group, trying standing next to fellow smokers. Or head out in twos and threes when you leave the table.
2. Don’t blow smoke in someone else’s face. If in a conversation, turn your head away when you exhale. This way you can stop engulfing people in a cloud of pollution.
3. Don’t take a drag right before you speak. It looks odd when your words come out mingled with snakes of smoke.
4. Give a little extra personal space while smoking in company. Don’t lean in too close. It’s all part of the guide to basic manners.
5. If someone asks you to stop smoking, either excuse yourself and find a different spot or stub the cigarette. You can always light another later. Reacting badly or objecting will be rude and weird.
6. Don’t drop ash where it shouldn’t be. Definitely not on a carpet or porch. If you’re in a house, find an ashtray or a disposable cup that can be thrown away when the deed is done. Even in public places, try not litter. There are dustbins everywhere.
7. When you go to a person’s place for the first time, always ask if it’s okay to smoke within the premises. It is normal courtesy. You don’t want the embarrassment of being stopped when you’ve lit one.
8. If you know that you’re in a no smoking zone or a friend’s place where smoking isn’t allowed, don’t try to be too smart by going ahead anyway. You might be sneaky in the loo or garden but remember that cigarette traces last longer than you realise.
9. If you’re smoking in an enclosed space, make sure you find some form of ventilation such as windows or exhaust fans. If they don’t exist, step out and do your thing.
10. Even when at home, don’t blindly flick your cigarettes out of the window. It could land on someone’s head for all you know.
11. When disposing off your cigarette butt in a trashcan, make sure it is fully extinguished. You don’t want to start a fire right outside your favourite bar, do you?
12. Don’t smoke in a car if you’ve got even one non-smoker in presence. Not everyone is cool with being stuck in a choke box.
13. If you borrow someone’s matchbox or lighter, return it. Just like anything else borrowed should be handed back as soon as possible.
14. If you go out with another smoker and happen to be carrying a lighter, always offer to light his/her cigarette first. It’s a small gesture but makes a big impression.
15. Never, ever smoke around kids. Actually, this didn’t even need to be said.
16. Make sure you're stocked with a pack before you go out. Why find yourself in a position where you have to bum a cigarette from a random stranger? Also, never take cigarettes from the same person twice. They've already done you a favour, don't push it!
17. In an office space, always wash your hands and pop a mint before you head back to your workstation after a smoke. Unless you have a personal cabin, that strong whiff of tobacco from your breath and clothes is going to hit people hard. Just don’t smell like smoke. It is stench to others.
18. If you’re not a legit smoker yet, try staying away from cigarettes for the rest of your life. This is probably the best piece of advice on this list.