MOTHERS and asthmatics will want to kill me for saying this, but sometimes I miss the days when you could smoke in pubs, clubs, restaurants and pretty much anywhere else in reach of an ashtray or street gutter.
As far as I can tell, this opinion has nothing to do with me being a social smoker .Some might find this disgusting, but I always felt at home in a public bar that was thick with the fog of a hundred smokers' conversations.
There was something about the vibe of a smoky room - perhaps people were more relaxed when they weren't denied their nicotine and something to keep their hands occupied.
Sometimes, conversations flow more fluently when you've got a fag in one hand and a schooner in the other.
These days, the pubs with a decent-sized smokers' area seem to get divided into two halves, and even though I rarely smoke, I often find myself hanging outside in the cold..
My grandfather lived on a constant diet of cigarettes. I used to sit there and watch him roll one after the other and wonder when he would finally decide he'd smoked enough.
From an early age I got used to enjoying the company of smokers, but also got a good impression of how addictive the smokes can be - not just the cigarettes but the act of smoking itself.
For this reason, I am not willing to pass judgement on anyone who lights up.
This is not to say that I support the big tobacco companies..
But there are certain things that I think should be left to personal choice.
Since smoking is still technically legal, I think we should still respect the choice of those who wish to smoke.