As we endure another blast of winter weather and another assault on our patience and good cheer, a thought occurred to me about people who seem to always manage the stress and stay friendly.
When I visited Costa Rica last spring, I got a closer look at the country than I’d expected because my wife suffered a spinal injury at the beach, which took us to cities and hospitals we hadn’t planned on visiting.
We discovered what so many have observed, that just about everybody in the country is incredibly friendly and helpful, not just people who make money by serving tourists.
And at some point, I noticed something else — you don’t see people smoking much in Costa Rica.
Even in the streets of the capital city, San Jose, when I saw groups gathered at bus stops or just hanging around talking, hardly anybody was smoking.
When I checked, I wasn’t surprised to see that Costa Rica has some of the toughest anti-smoking policies in the world. Smoking is heavily taxed and banned from just about any public place.
There are no doubt other reasons for the general good cheer of the place, but I’m convinced an absence of nicotine addiction is one of them.
I thought of this when I saw that CVS will soon stop selling tobacco products.
It’s good news, and I bet a few more people will handle winter stress better next year, because they won’t be dying for a cigarette.