I DON’T smoke. Never have.
And while I don’t go round denouncing those who smoke, I don’t take kindly to them when they indulge in their habit in my presence.
While on holiday recently, I twice asked to change tables in restaurants because people insisted on puffing away between courses.
Let me make it quite clear.
I do not object to people smoking.
It’s their life and, according to all the medical evidence, their demise.
So if they want to smoke themselves to death, let them get on with it.
I just don’t want to join them, in a passive-smoker manner.
They simply don’t care where the smoke goes.
That, to me, is a sign of arrogance and conceit.
It underlines just how little they care about others.
Though I think people who want to smoke should get on with it, I certainly don’t think they should encourage others to follow suit.
And what other interpretation is there for the defiant pose struck by model Kate Moss when she strutted down the catwalk, fag in hand and a haze of tobacco odours wafting in her slipstream?
She was saying to young girls the world over, if you want to be like me - rich, famous, beautiful, pampered - then stick a Park Drive in your gob and light up.
This came at the same time as the Government was struggling to appease the anti-smoking brigade.
We are, it seems, going to have a ban on prominent cigarette sales.
From April 2012, large shops will not be allowed to have cigarettes on display.
The same goes for smaller shops, but not until April 2015.
Whoops of joy from anti-smokers.
Personally, I think it is a waste of time and effort. And God knows how much taxpayers’ money which will have gone into researching and refining the proposal.
Do the people behind this idea really think people walking past a display of cigarettes suddenly get an urge to go and buy a packet?
That a non-smoker will all of an instant decide that he or she is missing something and grab a packet of Craven A?
Come off it.
Cigarettes are not bought on impulse. They are stocked up by people who think they can’t live without them.
They are addicted to them. Have cravings for them.
That means there is no obstacle they won’t clamber over to get to their beloved weed.
Sad, isn’t it?
But that’s the situation with smokers.
And there is no way that this measure will have any effect on children.
They don’t start smoking fags because they think the packets look pretty lined up at their local Asda.
They do it because their pals give the impression that it is a cool thing to do.
And they don’t want to be the odd one out.
What’s more they shouldn’t be able to buy the things in the first place. But they still manage to do so. Putting them under the counter (the cigarettes, that is, not the kids) won’t make a blind bit of difference.
If they do want to stop children smoking, then they should be speaking to foolish people such as Kate Moss.
She was modelling for Louis Vuitton, whose clothes were supposed to be all about bravado and attitude. Tough girl stuff. And it called for a fag in hand.
I only wish today’s kids weren’t so shallow.
But I am afraid I will wish in vain.