Before I add a further single word I must confess that I am a smoker; that the first thing I did with my first ever wage packet was to buy twenty cigarettes; that at the ripe old age of 71 I still smoke my pipe and have been doing so now for about forty years. Before that I smoked cigarettes and cigars…………………
I am of an age where I can well remember pregnant women smoking, children as young as ten years old smoking, smoking in bars, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, on public transport, in offices, in factories and any other place you can imagine. All such places are now out of bounds to smokers. To be honest, I am happy……..
Soon, over here in the UK, Supermarkets will not be permitted to display cigarettes and cigarette packets may only be sold in plain packets. I have no doubt those other outlets for tobacco products will quickly follow. Again I am happy.
It has taken quite some time for the ‘message’ to be taken seriously for it was fifty years ago this week (6th March, 1962) when the Royal College of Physicians, Smoking and Health published their report on the effects of smoking on people’s health. Fifty years and literally trillions of cigarettes later……………
When the report was published as many as seven out of ten men smoked daily and four out of ten women also took part. Nowadays, two out of ten men or women smoke.
Smoking is addictive and certainly does kill. It kills not only the actual smoker but also others through passive smoking. It used to be shown as an act of sophistication in films and such. Leaving aside the cost factor, chain smoking was a habit of the well-to-do whilst now it is an addiction of the disadvantaged. I am pleased that it is now seen as ridiculous by most people, especially by the younger generation.
I find it hard to believe, but know in my heart that it is true, that we used to travel to work in a car full of smoke, or train which was likewise – (oh yes, I almost forgot the ‘Non-Smoking Carriage’). We would then enter an office stinking of stale smoke from the previous day and immediately ‘light up’. We would probably then go for lunch into a smoke filled restaurant, have lunch and once again ‘light up’. Then after work we might go for a drink into a bar thick with smoke and once again ‘light up’. Would you believe it that most men even smoked in their homes in front of their wife and children. As for smoking in bed, I will leave that to your imagination…..
These days, it is all unlawful with the odd person to be seen standing outside in the street in rain, hail or snow having their ‘fix’. It is a really sad sight…………….
Will I ever stop smoking? Probably not for like most smokers, ‘I knew a man who smoked 50 cigarettes (or pipe) every day throughout his life since he was ten years old and he died aged 90 when he was knocked down by a bus’…………….