Tag Archives: cigarettes

I’m an Involuntary Smoker

Before I get started with the reason that I am writing this post, I just want to say that this is not my attempt to speak against (or for) smoking. I am not passing judgment against smokers. I am not telling people that they should not (or should) smoke. This is just a story about my life and how it relates to my writing and editing of the Book with Amanda.

Julie Campbell writer - involuntary smoker

The view out my window…which helps to show why I am a writer and not a photographer. This looks stunning in real life and disappointing in this image!

I live in a low-rise building with lots of huge windows that let in a tremendous amount of light and air. There are huge balconies that give residents the opportunity to relax in the sunlight (or the shade, depending on the time and the day). In my case, I use the space for a massive veggie garden.

When I write, I enjoy seating myself next to the largest window in my home, nestled into a comfy chair with my feet up on a stool. I like having the windows open so that I can enjoy the fresh air and listen to the wind in the trees (which is very audible right now as the leaves are changing and have more of a “rustle” to them), the many different kinds of birds that have nested in those trees (or that simply come to visit), and that one irritating cricket that chirps day and night. Give up, little guy. If it hasn’t worked by now, it never will!


Three times every hour, this experience also exposes me to the smell of cigarette smoke, as other residents light up and puff away on their balconies or outside in the beautiful gardens on the property. As much as I appreciate that they are headed outside to keep the smell – and associated ickies – out of their part of the building, it inevitably means that it enters back into mine through my large, beautiful open windows.

I have looked into air filters of all kinds (there is not a single one on the market that filters out cigarette smoke, as the particles are far too small – so don’t get suckered in by any marketing campaigns that claim otherwise!), and I have tried a steady routine of opening and closing windows in different patterns, depending on the smoker and his or her location.

Although I am a low-level health nut (in that while I try to eat healthy, exercise, and not smoke, I haven’t crossed the line, yet, into full-out nuttiness), I’m not going to take this time to complain about what this is doing to my health. I’m not even going to complain about what my neighbours are doing, as smoking is perfectly legal on private property in Canada, and this is not a no-smoking building.

What I am going to complain about (get ready for it, I know you are just dying to hear my complaints!) is that with all this stink, concern about my health (did I mention I’m a low-level hypochondriac, too?), and window opening-and-closing, it’s really taking a lot out of my day! It is distracting me from my ability to work and it is taking away from my extra time that I would otherwise use to edit the Book!

My characters are victims of my involuntary smoking! Maybe my next step should be to create a digital cigarette filter that can save them from the effects. But will Health Canada approve?  Hmmmm. 😉

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