Smokers in high rise!

Smokers in high rise!

Dear Boys,

This is the peril of high rise, urban living, There is no way we can work around it.

Living where we are, we will unwittingly inhale other people’s poison, our health held hostage, and we will not be able to triangulate where is the source of the smoke. Unfortunately, one of our direct neighbors is a smoker, but we cannot be sure if we can trace the smoke and ashes on our floor back to that neighbor. It’s just a chronic, nameless faceless annoyance that randomly threatens our well-being.

Dealing with Second Hand smoke

Honestly, I’m still okay with it during my Army days, I have to work with smokers, and out in the field, I do welcome their smoking cos somehow it does keeps the mosquitos away, sort of. Some of my buddies are smokers. Staying at home is a different matter, sometimes, the weather is cooling, windy and breezy, you want to open your windows fully but…you catch a whiff of cigarette smoke…and it spoils the feeling of a good weather.

When Louis Ng, a Member of Parliament tries to push for a smoking ban for high rise buildings, I knew he was just pulling a populist opinion. True enough, nothing has been done, and nothing can be done, yet. There is just too much cultural, societal, structural, legislation, economical and enforcement challenges stacked against such wishful thinking. Nice try Louis.

Stoicism to Smokers

What else can we do? There is no law, here or anywhere in the world to deal with this minor but annoying life inconveniences. As long as there is cigarettes, we, non-cigarette users will be constantly under such pungent aroma of vile air.

Since we cannot change what is outside of us, I choose to change the inside. It’s not the best wholesome way to do it, but well, it is what it is. I guess the only way I can ‘think’ around this is, well, the smoker cannot be smoking 24/7, so I just have to deal with the stench, there and then. While this don’t necessarily makes me a happy trooper at that moment, and knowing that it can happen again, if that culprit so decides to follow up with a second stick, but what else can I do?

Think happy thoughts.

Live with it lor.

What you focus on, magnifies.

We can go ballistics when we smell the smoke, see the ashes on our floor, but what can we do? We can plot murder, think sinister thoughts, wish death on the unnamed, unseen smoker, but what it only does is poison our own brain, and let one singular brief moment mess up our entire day. Close all of our windows to shut out the smoke, and miss the good breeze and suffocate our own abode with stale air?

We can wish for people to be more considerate, hope that our neighbors can be more sensitive, but that opinion can swing both ways. Our smoker neighbors are also appealing for us to understand them, since they are only smoking at home, which is perfectly legal, they cannot control where the smoke goes, and there is a lot of places outside with smoking ban, and there is little legit places they can take a puff.

So what they are doing at home is their business in their own privacy and comfort, what can we do?

Hope that they give up smoking? Despite of the obvious health hazards all around, being 110% bad, it is their own right to take their own life slowly, puff by puff. Cigarettes being expensive in Singapore? It’s their own money and if they so spend their last dime on a stick of poison, it is also their right.

So I can only focus on my four walls, and be happy that I can keep this place clean and nice, and just turn my nose whenever that momentarily familiar turd of stench waft into our home.

Links:

https://www.straitstimes.com/politics/parliament-ban-smoking-near-windows-and-at-balconies-in-homes-says-louis-ng

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/secondhand-smoke-louis-ng-smoking-home-balcony-window-2506141

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/smoking-home-secondhand-smoke-louis-ng-parliament-2174926

https://www.louisng.sg/parliamentary-speeches/14-7

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/politics/existing-laws-can-be-used-to-tackle-second-hand-smoke-in-residential-areas-louis

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/call-for-ideas-from-enterprises-to-tackle-secondhand-smoke-in-residential-areas

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/politics/parliament-smoking-harder-to-catch-than-streaking-says-minister-grace-fu

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/politics/parliament-near-sixfold-increase-in-hdb-smoking-complaints-since-2017-says-mnd

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/stuck-with-a-neighbours-second-hand-smoke

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/getting-riled-up-by-neighbours-cigarette-smoke-noise-and-litter

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/housing/more-complaints-about-cigarette-smoke-and-noise-from-neighbours

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/environment/complaints-about-secondhand-smoke-in-residential-areas-rise-during-pandemic

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/secondhand-smoke-may-damage-childrens-eyes-study