With even tobacco addicts no longer believing that the government is being too draconian, change is in the air
Pulling a sweater from a drawer the other day, the smell of smoke took me by surprise.
It was only wood smoke, a legacy of pandemic socialising this freezing spring, when huddling around a garden bonfire was the only way of seeing friends. But it took me back decades, to the years when every night out meant coming home reeking of cigarettes, and every house party left a trail of beer bottles stuffed with fag ends floating in their ashy soup of dregs. Everyone smoked when I was growing up, pretty much everywhere. People lit up routinely on the bus, dads chain-smoked in cars all down the motorway to wherever you were going on holiday, and sweetshops sold candy cigarettes for little kids to pretend-smoke in the playground. The past is a foreign country, and sometimes better that way. But are we ready to consign it completely to history?