Hurrah! Hurrah! I am writing this just after midnight on the very day on which England finally bans smoking in all public and work places. Tonight Shirley and I went down to the local and three young people - in their twenties - sat next to us and lit up their evil little tobacco cylinders. But that's the last time! Next week they will have to breathe out their stinking smoke at home or stand out under the stars making smoke rings.
I loathe smoking. Everything about it but mostly the foul stink of it. I hate the stench of stale smoke on my clothes and I hate the way it catches the back of your throat and stings your eyes. And I hate the commercial thrust of it - the advertising, the profit hungry targeting of vulnerable people. Everything about smoking stinks.
Lungs. Guess which pair belonged to a smoker!
This is how the BBC have heralded July 1st - "Smokers across England are having their final puff at work and the pub before the ban on lighting up in enclosed public places begins at 0600 on Sunday. The move follows bans across the UK, and is intended to cut deaths from secondhand smoke. Many venues are planning farewell events for the final Saturday night, while local authorities are preparing to enforce the ban. Anyone lighting up illegally will face a fine of up to £200."
Since this ban was announced in Parliament we have had to wait a long, long time but finally the day of reckoning has arrived and at last we, the non-smoking majority have got the upperhand. I have not one iota of sympathy for hardened smokers but I hope that this ban will inspire hundreds more of them to say goodbye and good riddance to the dreaded weed.