Urban Etiquette: No Butts About It

by Borderstan.com January 31, 2012 at 8:00 am 2,504 5 Comments

"Borderstan""Smoker", smoking etiquette, urban etiquette, Luis Gomez Photos

Yes, dear reader, there is smoking etiquette for outdoor spaces, too. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Mike Kohn. Have an urban etiquette wrong that needs to be righted? Drop Mike a line at [email protected] or find him on Twitter @mike_kohn.

Here’s a (admittedly slightly overdramatic) letter I composed in my head as I was heading down 17th Street NW the other day:

Dear guy with the pipe who decided to blow smoke in my face as I walked by,

Did you know that that’s incredibly irritating? If you’re going to smoke on the street, pay slightly closer attention to where you blow it out so you can avoid pissing people off. I realize that it would’ve been difficult to either hold it for one extra second or turn your head, but it would’ve been nicer for me and the couple walking just a few feet behind me. Thanks for keeping that in mind.


Vomiting on the sidewalk

Now, smoking isn’t my cup of tea, but I really don’t have a problem with it. There are plenty of considerate smokers out there who do it just fine. But then there’s the few crappy ones who really just ruin it for everyone.

  • Don’t blow smoke in other people’s faces. Okay, if that was new or a surprise to you, you really should just not be allowed to buy cigarettes. Seriously.
  • Along the same lines, consider where your smoke is going. Are you hanging with other people? Maybe position yourself so it goes downwind.
  • Avoid smoking in overly crowded public areas. So I’ve seen people smoking at the dog park on 17th Street NW, outside the playground of Ross Elementary on R Street NW and on the escalator going down to the metro. It’s just a courtesy to put it out when there are lots of other people (and cute puppies and kids!) in a densely packed area. Just something to consider.
  • Put it out in an ashtray. No, that doesn’t mean the street. I like seeing a clean sidewalk… which does not include stepping in tobacco from the cigarette that was split open.



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