Closet vices: What are you covering up?

Gone are the days when walked into a restaurant and the host asked, ‘Smoking or non-smoking?’ Provincial smoking bans in

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Gone are the days when walked into a restaurant and the host asked, ‘Smoking or non-smoking?’ Provincial smoking bans in indoor areas are in effect across Canada. Starting with bowling alleys and restaurants in Prince Edward Island in 2002, Canadian smokers have had to move farther and farther away from their non-smoking friends to get their tobacco fix.

The truth is though, that smoking in Canada has become taboo. We live in the ‘no-smoking age’ says an article in the Toronto Star about closet-smokers. A woman interviewed in the article shared that she hides her habit with mouthwash and breath mints, even keeping the secret from her boyfriend.

The Star article reports that some smokers are so shameful, they’re even hiding the habit from their physicians, putting the patient at higher risk of complications from medications or surgeries. We all know the dangers of smoking’lung cancer and heart disease, to name a few’and we’re all healthier when people don’t smoke in public areas and share second-hand smoke. But shouldn’t smokers be allowed to puff away in the privacy of their homes without their friends and family judging them? After all, we all have our vice. Maybe yours is sneaking a doughnut after work, indulging in a few too many minutes on the couch watching reality TV or pouring another glass of wine after a long day.

Most of us understand the health risks associated with our various vices, but we do them anyway. We already feel the guilt’should we have to pay the price of a social stigma, too?

Perhaps telling someone about your bad habits will help you get the support your need to overcome them. A vice-free society could mean dealing with all our toughest health issues alone. It’s hard enough to admit that I don’t workout nearly enough’will I be stuck watching Project Runway and eating Doritos alone forever?

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