You Stink

Katie - Hudsonville, Michigan
Entered on January 26, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

It was my seventh birthday and my grandma was taking me out for lunch. She smiled, showing her dingy yellow teeth, while she dug into her purse. Her withered hand took out a lighter and she lit a cigarette. As soon as she blew the smoke from her mouth, I was convinced that smoking was absolutely the most disgusting habit. This was the first time I can remember someone smoking. I asked her why she did it. She responded that lighting a cigarette gave her an excitement, gave her a feeling of empowerment, gave her serenity; all she needed was to take a puff and all her dilemmas from that day would be forgotten. When my grandma finally grasped the concept that smoking was taking over her life, she decided to quit. However she realized this a little too late. The smoke she consumed throughout life took her from the world years later. I was devastated.

I believe that smoking is the most repulsive thing in the world. If you know its poisonous why do it in the first place; why even try? My grandma smoked to consume the nicotine and for a feeling of peace. I think she should have taken up chocolate; it works for me and I’m keeping my lungs from blackening. My grandma was willing to let her lungs crisp all for that one little cigarette that became two and then a whole pack; look at her reward. Death.

The smell makes me nauseous. It is a cloud that hangs around your head and whenever you breathe in, you can not escape the odor. My grandma always reeked of that raunchy scent. The smell followed her everywhere; everything she touched turned into little reminders that said she smoked. She should have carried around a neon sign that read: “I smoke, plug your nose.” My grandma’s house lingered with the bitter aroma of smoke. I could not stand it. I would smell like that smutty stench when I came home from her house.

All the toxins my grandma put in her body that killed her are one thing, but to blow them in my face is another. It’s sickening. If I wanted to breathe in the poisons I would pick up a cigarette myself; but that’s not how I want to die. Cough, cough, cough, hacking up a lung. It is not pretty.

I hated it when my grandma drove down the street with her window open just a crack so her cigarette could fit out of it – she could have waited till she got home. Her car always smelled. Still, that is one thing I will never do: ride in a car while someone is smoking. If someone starts to light up when I’m in the car, I will rip the cigarette out of their mouth or on a good day, in a nice way ask them to stop.

Thanks to my grandma, I will never be a smoker. Everything about it screams foolish, the way it makes you smell, the way it makes you look, the way it kills you. I believe smoking is a distasteful choice people make.