cafedaysm%5B1%5D.jpgCome next Monday morning, smoking in public places will be an offence. Smokers across the nation are facing up to the fact that their way of life is about to change forever.
I bumped into a friend of mine here at Caterer’s offices, this afternoon. “Why the sad face?” I asked him. “I’ve just had my last fag in the smoking room”, he replied, with a forlorn and distant look in his eyes. I should give you a bit of context here: our smoking room is a bare and stinky place, where lone figures stand, cigarette in hand, staring out of the window at suburban Sutton’s underwhelming landscape. In truth, I don’t think it’s the room Fergus will miss, more the several-times-daily ritual of getting up from his desk, taking the lift down to the first floor, lighting up and inhaling deeply.
This weekend will see an end to such rituals. In bars and clubs, punters will nurture a pint and a fag in a reassuringly fuggy room for the last time ever. In restaurants, diners will blow smoke-rings with the last post-dinner cigar they will ever enjoy at table. And in pubs, old men in cloth caps will stuff a wad of Old Virgina into their pipes one last time.
If I sound like I’m already in mourning for a lost way of life, don’t be fooled: I’m not a smoker, and I look forward to getting home from the pub without feeling I’ve been kippered. And it’s a fact that Caterer campaigned actively for the smoking ban on the basis that it would be benefit the health of hospitality workers, for whom passive smoking is a professional hazard.
Still, I feel the pain of all you smokers facing a lifetime of lighting up on the pavement in the rain. And I hope that your last smoke indoors is a truly memorable experience.
Where do you plan to savour your final smoke? Let us know – better still, send us an image of your last cigarette.