Why Smokers Keep a Window Rolled Down

The in basket: A week ago Wednesday, I asked on behalf of Sen. Bob Oke why the readers think smokers often drive with their windows half-way down. I got a lot of answers.
The out basket: A surprising number were from smokers themselves and they said that looking through and breathing in their own second-hand smoke isn’t nearly as enjoyable as getting it straight from the cigarette.


The in basket: A week ago Wednesday, I asked why the readers think smokers often drive with their windows half-way down. I got a lot of answers.
The out basket: A surprising number were from smokers themselves and they said that looking through and breathing in their own second-hand smoke isn’t nearly as enjoyable as getting it straight from the cigarette.
“The reason smokers (I was a smoker for years) drive with their windows half down, ” said Charlee Wilcox, “is that they can’t stand a car/room full of cigarette smoke. It is fine in the lungs but not in the eyes.”
Cal Aylsworth, Sharon O’Hara, Bryan Garrett, Richard Hood and Dean Beck all had a variation on that answer. “The smoke builds up pretty bad and it begins to burn your eyes and block your vision,” said Cal. “Also, the smoke sticks to the windows and mirror and has to be cleaned off regularly, not an easy task,” he said.
Bryan Garrett wrote, “I smoked for 24 years (stopped now for eight years), but to this day I like to drive with the window down most of the time. Some habits are easier to stop than others.”
Richard says, “It’s that the smoke bothers me, ironically. It irritates my sinuses and my eyes.”
Dean uses his sunroof for the same reason. “I’m
the only one that rides in my car so I really don’t care what it smell like, I just don’t like looking through a fog bank :)”
Sharon, anticipating a theme struck by several others, said, “I smoked 40 years and NEVER flicked cigarette ashes out the window… the window was open because I wanted to breathe fresh air.”
A passenger once shocked her by doing it, she said, “but it didn’t happen again.”
Jerry Harless said, “As often as not, they flick their ashes out the window. It keeps the car smelling fresh, leaves the ashtray clean and no
evidence for the spouse you promised you would quit.”
He wasn’t the only one who said they see ashes being flicked out the window from lighted cigs. Anne Pearson said she’d seen it three times in September already.
Mark Crispin wrote, ” I am a motorcyclist. I see this behavior all the time. I’ve been hit by hot butts more than once
on the freeway. It is a miracle that we do not have more brush fires.”
Shirley Dinesen said, “I came to the conclusion that they are considerate of their passengers or that they hope to help themselves, by a little fresh air. Those who flick the residue out the window “don’t want to smell up the car with old cigarette butts in the ash tray. I think it’s time to impose another tax on tobacco to cover the cost of fire damage along our highways.”
“It’s easier (you don’t have to look) than using an in-car ashtray,” said Miriam Chase, “and also can decrease the smell of cigarette smoke in your car. This is especially effective if, instead of using an ashtray, you keep a plastic bottle with some liquid in it to put your cigarette butts in.”

4 thoughts on “Why Smokers Keep a Window Rolled Down

  1. It’s amazing that some of these smokers don’t want their cars to be littered with cigarettes but have no problem at all throwing the butts into the streets and forests of our region.

  2. As a motorcyclist, I am acutely aware of what people are tossing out of their car windows. After reading your article, I started keeping track of, specifically, smokers. My observations have indicated that 90-95% of smokers on the highway are unaware that the car has an ashtray! They are also unaware that a lit cigarette butt impacting on my helmet’s faceshield is like fireworks exploding one inch from my eyes!! It could very easily cause an inexperienced rider to wreck. All because you didn’t use the ashtray.

  3. I am always amazed at how perfect some people portray to be and how critical they are of others and the habits others have. They are not smart enough to realize that people know and see through their pitiful personalities and brand them the whiners they truly are… Now, go make your own beds and try not to be so quick to criticize others’ habits. You do have your own bad habits, all people do. Some just do not wish to admit them!

  4. I, for one, am sick of all the needless brush fires in my area as well as others caused by careless, uncaring smokers tossing their butts out in fire season. All you have to do is drive around the roads and freeways and see the burned out areas next to the road caused by cigarettes.
    I would like to see a campaign started where citizens take down license #’s and the date and time they observed someone throw a cigarette out the window during fire season. If this was publicized these careless smokers might think twice about flipping their butts out car windows if they didn’t know who behind them might be taking down their license etc.
    Fires have come too close to my home. I get infuriated when I see someone doing this on a hot, windy, dry day. I have had serious conversations with individuals and I don’t think they will be throwing cigarette butts out the window anymore.

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