Image by Leo Reynolds via FlickrI quit smoking 4 months and 15 days ago...but who's counting? As a smoker, I always felt like an outcast, excusing myself to slip out and puff down a cigarette. On any given day, I could usually be found with lotion, gum, body spray, mints, etc. I was constantly trying to hide the fact that I was a smoker. Maybe hide is too strong of a word...I was at least trying to counteract some of the gross effects of smoking...quitting obviously would've been much more effective in this regard.
Now that I'm not a smoker, I feel like I'm on the other side of the spectrum...especially in New York City. Every corner I turn seems to be filled with groups of people living my former life, standing outside smoking cigarettes. Now that I don't smoke, it feels like everyone else does. Since I'm still relatively new in the world of non-smoking, I have moments when I don't mind standing in the midst of smokers...living vicariously through their second-hand smoke. But generally, I really dislike being anywhere in the vicinity of smokers, which is unfortunate since there's no real way to avoid it in the city. Luckily for me, NYC is making it harder and harder to smoke almost anywhere. Remember the days when you'd walk into a restaurant and the hostess would ask, "Smoking or Non?" I'm glad that I'm finally at a place in my life that I proudly proclaim "Non"...but walking around NYC is a lot like those ambiguous smoking and non-smoking sections in restaurants, where you're a victim of smoking whether you smoke or not.