When I was a lad it seemed like every adult was a smoker, except for my mother, but Grandad managed to smoke enough for her, plus all of us kids and our pets. He did quite well considering how short his life was.
Back in the day, our homes were littered with ashtrays, every pub and restaurant had a solid blue fog wafting over them, and the smell of Sunday roasts competed with the pong of tobacco smoke.
The seventies was also a time when smokers kicked the habit in huge numbers, as the medical profession finally got their message across about the dangers of smoking; particularly while wearing highly flammable polyester clothing.
And as the number of older smokers continues to plummet faster than a stunned duck, for some reason, many teens and young adults are taking it up. Are they insane?! It’s not as if they haven’t been warned! Plus there’s practically nowhere in public you can light up these days without risking verbal and/or physical abuse.
And if smoking doesn’t take your breath away, then the price of them surely will. Just in case you haven’t kept up with ‘smokeflation’, each cigarette costs roughly 92 cents nowadays! Which explains why nobody leaves their packs of smokes on the bar when they pop off to the toilet anymore; you might as well leave your open wallet unattended.
Fortunately, smoking is a dying habit, and sooner or later, everyone will quit; in some cases voluntarily. And years from now, future generations will look back in bewilderment at our addiction to this toxic habit, and I’ll give them this time tested excuse, “Everyone else was doing it and it seemed like a good idea at the time.”
Which, by the way, also comes in handy for explaining why I handed over good money in the Seventies to watch ‘Carry On’ movies.