So, at last there is to be a smoking ban in public places in England. Not before time. It’s been a bit of a shambles in the last few days: at one point, it looked as if MPs wouldn’t be able to come to an agreement, but it should be finalized by now. It will probably allow smoking in private members’ clubs, and pubs that don’t serve food will be able to choose whether they allow smoking or not. A total ban would be much better, but this is not a bad compromise.
I was reminded today that I only smoked for about a year (when I was a student at the Sorbonne, in the 60s) and only “blondes” or menthol cigarettes. When I started getting migraines I stopped and never took it up again. Cigarette smoke still gives me a headache.
Who would have thought twenty years ago that smoking would be banned from restaurants? I remember an occasion when I dared to ask a couple of work colleagues not to smoke while we were having our meal (it was a birthday party; we were in a basement with a very low ceiling) and was berated for being a spoilsport. I had to endure having smoke blown in my face during the entire meal and, of course, ended up with a splitting headache. It made me very angry.
The consequences of smoking are now well known and there is no excuse for lighting up. I’m sure it’s quite difficult to quit if you’re a heavy smoker, i.e. an addict, but it can be done if you’re strongly motivated: my father stopped smoking overnight after having a heart attack at the age of 65, and that was before patches and other chewing gums.
And remember: “Kissing a smoker is like licking an ashtray”. Blech!
I’d like to slap those people who made me feel like a freak and a killjoy on that particular day (I think I deserve an apology from them, actually) and anyone who’s ever imposed their antisocial habit on those of us who wish to breathe clean-ish air. Slap!