Monday, July 07, 2008

Up in smoke

I'm a smoker. Have been for more than 25 years. I wish I wasn't but I am and I make no apologies for it. Like most non-smokers, however, I hate smoky atmospheres, used to hate smoking carriages and smoking sections and can still remember when you could smoke on the London Underground. So I'm happy that the workplace is smoke free and buses are too, and even pubs. It means I smoke less, and that can only be a good thing.

But that's not enough for the British Medical Association. Not only do they want to ban cigarettes from being on view in shops and supermarkets, but they want them sold in plain packaging under the counter. If that wasn't nannyish enough, they want all films that feature smoking to be reclassified. Apparently, it's glamorous. This is just daft. Are they planning to recommend the same be done for films featuring kinves and guns, or drugs or those torture porn films? Probably not. It's more of a crime to light up where you shouldn't than knife a hoodie.

It's like that Victoria Wood sketch where a couple on a train are shagging, and when they've finished one of them lights up. No one has said anything up to this point until the fags come out and someone says, 'I think you'll find this is a non-smoking compartment'. Says it all.

I didn't start smoking because I saw Clint Eastwood do it. The only people you saw smoking on the telly when I was at an impressionable age were the Rovers Return regulars and The Sweeney - glamourama! - and I can't even think of a film in which someone smoking made me want to do it - except perhaps Grease. (Now of course, anyone lights up on film and I'm in the cinema makes me long for the return of the left hand side reserved for those patrons who wish to smoke. Thank God Man Men is not a film).

Anyhoo, in the main, film and TV images had nothing to do with why I started. Most parents smoked, you could smoke anywhere, at anytime. It just was one of those things. Everyone tried it. When I was offered my first fag I took it, and sadly I've never looked back.

The BMA want Britain to be smoke-free by 2035. Are they for real? Do they serioulsy think it can be banned and therefore physically wiped out by then? If only people were as stringent over gangs and knives. I hate to go all Daily Mail, but the world's gone mad, you couldn't make it up, etc, etc. it's just tosh. Haven't they got something better to do? Like worrying about MRSA.

Stay alive til '35.


Roman Empress said...

I smoke too but a year later I've gotten used to this curb of civil liberty and I don't mind it so much. I don't ever want to see smoking disappear from our screens though(reclassifying isn't so bad I suppose). Imagine films by Fellini, Truffaut, Wenders etc without it and you're lifting a veil.
(On a separate matter we were front row to Pentangle in the end last night, beautiful stuff).

Planet Mondo said...

Fortunately I've never been a puffer (my parents were both smokers and used the reverse psychology of "yes you can smoke") - and there were always other things I wanted to spend my money on, but a 'visual prohibition' on smoking, won't change anything apart from adding mystery and glamourising it.

It's off topic, but I saw your post on the Word site about gaps/mixing. I use Ableton for mixing and creating comps and cross fades, you can check a couple of my mixes here and here - but you can also use a freebie download called Audacity

Clair said...

Smoking makes you look cool. That's it.It's the only reason I take an occasional puff *cough cough*

Matthew Rudd said...

I gave up almost five years ago but I'm always outraged by the limitations placed on smokers. If everyone gave up the Government would panic about the lack of taxes and the masses of jobseekers filing out of the fag factories.

Misery Guts said...

Apparently, the film "Thank You For Smoking" doesn't have a single person smoking in it.