These people are humanity’s Terminators: They are out there. They can’t be bargained with. They can’t be reasoned with. They don’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until you, the smoker, are no more.
First it was public transport, cinemas and shopping centres. Smokers put up scant resistance, mainly because the Kings Cross disaster made any argument impossible, but also because the only films improved by watching through 10m of fug tend to be skin flicks. But that wasn’t enough. Under the still controversial ‘secondary smoke’ banner, the ASL campaigned relentlessly for a complete ban in public places. Of course, by public places they really meant ‘the pubs and restaurants they frequented’. To keep the peace as much as possible, smokers were willing to compromise, and Tobacco Apartheid was introduced. Smokers raised barely a peep as they were crushed into their designated area, puffing away like freshly caught sardines, even though the non-smoking section was so sparsely populated that occupants had to communicate with flags.
It still wasn’t enough for the anti-smoking Nazis. In July 2007, they finally got their way and smoking was banned in all public places including, quite remarkably, a smoker’s personal vehicle if used for work. People were encouraged to call the State to inform on those having a crafty fag in restricted areas, and any transgressors were grabbed by snatch squads and never seen again. Actually, I made the last bit up, but it’s coming. Trust me.
So, a victory for the whining masses. They forced a government to bend to their wishes despite the catastrophic loss of tax revenue that would follow. Were they happy? Were they buggery! Even though they are now breathing clean air in their local pub (an unpleasant mix of body odour and stale beer – be careful what you wish for), they still have the fucking audacity to complain that all the fun seems to be happening outside. Where the smokers are. One famous anti-smoker was so distraught that he was missing out, he actually considered taking up the habit to fit back in.
I would laugh my tits off, but I don’t want to cough up a lung.