You would think that someone nicknamed "Johnny Cigarette", someone capable of saying that contemporary pubs are often a pale “corporate imitation” of the once idiosyncratic mom-and-pop places that once flourished, and that smoking bans represent “a draconian social apartheid”, would also understand that there is more going on here than a random bit of bad legislation.

You would think he would realise the need to stop governance by social apartheid to let people create their own sort of space for social mingling if that’s what they want to do. In other words, you would expect the writer to appreciate that the problem is bigger than the issue of smoking itself, and has ramifications (the more glaring one a rather fascist – and we use the word quite deliberately because it fits the case – corporate-governmental micromanagement of society) far beyond the alteration of a typical evening out in a pub, as important as that is.
Instead, this writer predictably whines over “sanctimonious busybodies” and praises the “dogged perseverance” of smokers like himself who smoke outdoors (as if they were engaging in a heroic act). He appear to view this scant evidence of non-conformity to establish his coolness credentials and absolve him from the obligation to take the issue seriously.
“Yes,” he concludes, cigarettes “are bad for your health – and everyone else – but there is no match when it comes to trying to create a cool image. The only difference is people will be doing it outside now. And, rest assured, I’ll be right beside them.”
How pathetic. A fourth generation photo-copy rebel-without-a-cause who is really a rebel manqué with a cause – that of soft-selling antismoking propaganda to the nitwits who happen to read this whinging, cringing, "lifestyle" lament.



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