Smoking ranked up there as a bad idea

TRYING to skateboard down Thrill Hill, dragging a wild dog home for a pet and suggesting Long Suffering Wife try door-to-door pole dancing to boost our household income are just some of the spectacularly bad ideas I've had over the years.

But they're mere trifles when compared to sticking cigarettes into my gob and lighting them for eight years.

Still, back in the '80s practically everyone smoked, plus you could puff pretty much anywhere; in offices, nightclubs, workshops, shopping centres, pubs, on trains, buses and even aircraft. It was the non-smokers stuck outside in all weather trying to escape the toxic pong.

I can hardly believe it now, but we even smoked in restaurants.

Although I did have one squabble in a steakhouse when a nearby diner started puffing on a stinking cigar while I was tearing into a T-bone, the inconsiderate sod.

On the plus side, there was never a shortage of matches or lighters during a blackout.

A point driven home the last time our lights went out and I had to fire up the gas barbecue to light our candles.

I quit in the '90s when the price of a pack went up to a whopping $5.

Each gasper was sending 17 cents up in smoke, which was simply far too much for my inner cheapskate.

Nowadays it's roughly a dollar per durrie, so not only is every cigarette doing you harm, it's costing you a gold coin for the privilege.

Little wonder nobody leaves their ciggies lying around anymore.

Like tollbooths, large backyards and typewriters, it's just a matter of time before smoking becomes a thing of the past, but if you're still struggling with your New Year's resolution to give up, then trust me, starting smoking again would be a spectacularly bad idea.


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