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June 9, 2022

IN MOST rampantly liberally permissive settings where free speech is enjoyed by consenting adults in privacy safe from the prying electronic eyes and ears of the thought police, a smoking zone usually helps to promote relaxation, ease, social lubrication and close proximity.

My school’s smoker’s corner, where we used to drag on stumps discarded by others in conspiratorial, colegiate, convivial closeness behind the gym, was always the safest safe haven for troubled and emotionally scarred souls as a relief from the pressure and tension of the classroom. Without it, many would have suffered terribly from loneliness, mental health issues, stress and anxiety, anger and rage. This is the case in many settings and among all age groups, as doctors, some of whom used to advise some patients to buy a pipe and enjoy the odd pull on some Golden Virginia to chill, know.

The thrill and dangerous enjoyment was very, very considerably heightened when we knew that it was not legal, as it was with alcohol. Going into a pub for a pint and a fag after I turned 18 felt a terrible anti-climax because nobody could punish me.

This is something that the humourless haggard health tzar Chris Whitty, who told us not to exercise during COVID-19 (not exactly a walking talking example of the joys of a smoke-free life) and all the other self-appointed headmasters wielding draconian legal canes with the threat – yet again – of more criminalisation with informers and policing legitimised, will never understand.

Some of our children are being given the vote at 16 by politicians to give the cruel and cynical illusion of engagement and empowerment yet they will not be able to light up like their parents might have done until they’re, oh…about 40 and even then only in the shed with the door double locked from the inside. They should be so angry there should be smoke coming out of their ears.

Politicians are not our parents wagging their fingers warning us against evils and neither are they clerics offering to take our confessions. Stay out of our business and we might stay out of yours, is my message.

What is most noticeable – always – is the massive distance between the legislation made by health fascists and zealots in a bid to make us live longer, whether we want to or not, and the reality on the ground. I see e-scooters whizzing around at frightening speeds illegally every day with no hope of police action and others openly dealing drugs on grimy street corners.

The simple truth is that these virtue signals are pointless tick-box activities which will actively incentivise some to have a go and there is inadequate policing in shops and on the streets to curb and control too many crimes as it is without having to judge if someone is old enough to smoke.

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