Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Smoke Rings a Bell Here

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Smoke Rings a Bell Here

Article excerpt

From the sanctuary of my own living room, a cigarette is snugly supported twixt the index and second finger of my left hand, leaving my writing hand free to compile this letter. Should I go to the pub on this cold November night? I don't know.

The pub, the route to the pub, seem to have lost their conviviality. Because I'm a smoker. I've always been a smoker, but it didn't seem too bad before.

I never realised I was a menace to mankind, a killer, a planet destroyer, a failure to be banished. But to where? I'd go there.

The pub's new wallpaper, no smoking sign, really means to me - we don't want your type here. About to leave, I spot the criminals' corner, a sign "you may smoke in this area".

The new criminals are laughing, joking, talking, even enjoying themselves. Why aren't the non-smokers? In fact, some of the "nons" seem to be joining the smokers. In doing so they always seem to remark "I'll become a passive smoker to join you lot". Aren't we lucky!

Have these people become a new breed of hero, daring to go and sit in the smoking area?

There is no argument for smoking. But, just like the full freedom of the pub to the non-smoker, the arguments against are never ending.

There's always been a ban on smoking. I banned my kids when they were kids. Don't talk to strangers, don't play in the road, remember your manners, respect the elderly. These rules have guarded and guided us throughout time. Now I'm considered old-fashioned. Let's ban being old fashioned - that's silly. Then let's ban being silly, but you can't. Then let's ban "you can't".

If at this point you are getting confused, have a fag and a laugh. Oh yes, one other thing. I shall go to the pub because the truth is the pub and those in it like me being there.

JOHN ADAMS, Coulby Newham

As a smoker I want to know when my Member of Parliament is going to get the import of tobacco stopped altogether.

It is all well and good bringing in half-hearted legislation to appease the reformed smoker with no willpower. …

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