Okay, this came up as an aside in the thread about the outdoor smoking ban, and it just struck me that maybe the division in understanding between smokers and non-smokers is that we experience second-hand smoke differently prior to any first experience/opportunity to experience smoking first-hand. So, I thought I'd toss up a poll on this just to see how things shake out. I know PF is never a representative sample of the general population, but we do have smokers and non-smokers and ex-smokers here, so let's see how this turns out. This is NOT another discussion on the good and evil of smoking, but about how people's experiences with smoking may affect their choices to have begun smoking in the first place. Typically, we attribute starting smoking to things like peer-pressure, or other social factors, but what if there's a real biological difference that has been overlooked (or maybe it hasn't been overlooked, just those of us discussing it haven't delved into the literature far enough to know this is not novel...I know I haven't delved in on this topic very far). The polls are limited to 10 choices, and I'll really need 12, so I'm going to insert some bias in the 10 I put on the poll, and allow people to write-in responses for the two remaining choices (unless I find a way to override the limit on poll options). The options are a choice among three smoking categories (smoker, non-smoker, ex-smoker). Just to be perfectly clear, a smoker is someone who is currently using some form of tobacco (technically, chewing isn't smoking, but for the sake of this poll, I'll include it under the category of smoking...when you respond, you only chew and have never actually smoked, that would be useful to write-in as well in case that makes a difference in the results). A non-smoker is someone who has never used any form of tobacco beyond a single incident of experimentation that never led to further use. An ex-smoker is someone who has used tobacco products in the past, including only occassional use, as long as it was more than just one time, but no longer uses such products. Combined with that are another 4 reaction categories (always bothered by smoke; used to be bothered by smoke, but not anymore; didn't used to be bothered by smoke, but am now; never bothered by smoke). By "bothered" I mean physical feelings of illness, such as nose or throat irritation, asthma attacks, headaches, coughing, nausea. I do not mean opposition of smoking based on knowledge of it's effects on health, or social effects, such as family tensions or loss of a loved one to smoking-related illness. I'm looking for physical effects, not social effects. I think the rest of the break-down is obvious, but just in case, "always" means as long as you can remember back from childhood until now, "never" means you can't ever recall any incident where you felt any ill-effects of exposure to smoke, all the way back from childhood until now. "Used to be bothered...not anymore" means at some time in the past, you experienced ill-effects (described above) from exposure to smoke, but have not experienced them during your most recent exposures to smoke. And, finally, "Didn't used to be bothered...but am now" means that at some point in the past, you were able to tolerate being around smokers, or smoking yourself, with no feelings of illness, but am now sensitive to those effects (during your most recent exposures). Edit: Okay, I was able to create an extra two entries for those remaining choices, so they don't need to be written in (hence the reason the ex-smoker choices are a different order from the others).