Well, I didn't smoke five packs a day, but I was good for a pack, more or less. And I enjoyed it, to tell you the truth, even knowing that it was bad for me. It was that knowledge that eventually wore me down.
Today's young smoker might be fascinated, or envious, to learn of a time in America when more or less everyone smoked, more or less everywhere. Restaurants, offices, grocery stores, funeral parlors, buses: you name a place, and the chances are that one could light up with impunity at any time. And demand "an ashtray, if it's not too much trouble..."
In the late 1980's, things started to change, and smoking was banned in more places every day. Bars and restaurants were the last public places to change. You might recall the plaintive cries of Baltimore's bar and restaurant owners, who all claimed long and loud that without the right to puff a Camel, their customers would not come in, and their business would be gone in a puff of smoke.
This, of course, did not happen, nor did the increase of sales tax on the smokes themselves stop the dedicated smokers from smoking in their own areas. I leave it to you to decide if that tax increase was fair, but I think that it's fair that smoking be done either in the Great Outdoors or someone else's Great Indoors. You want to smoke, or commit acts of self-defenestration, or listen to vile radio programs, go for it, but please don't force it on me.
|Take a puff - it's springtime!|
Those three long, long months.