This delightful commentary by Peter Thurgood, based in the United Kingdom, should not be regarded as a nostalgic paeon to an unretrievable past. Far from it. Through his observation he explains how the controllers get, so far, their way.

Peter Thurgood – Real Spain

When did the stink first start, can anyone remember?

The stink that I am referring to is of course, that "horrible" smell of tobacco which we are told impregnates people’s clothes, their breath, and even their hair.

How many times do we hear about this terrible stink, we have even been bombarded with television adverts telling us of how bad we will smell if we smoke.

When I was a child and almost all adults smoked, the smell of cigarettes to me became a comforting smell. When my father came in and picked me up to say hello, the first thing I would smell was a heady mixture of tobacco and wood shavings, as my father was a cabinet maker and also a regular smoker, yes even in work where there were wood shavings and sawdust everywhere, smoking was still allowed. Not just allowed but encouraged, in fact so much so, that when Christmas came around, his boss would always give him a box of 50 or 100 cigarettes.

When my father hugged me and I smelled these aromas, I knew that they were the aromas of a good and honest working man, who loved me, and even today, I still associate these smells with love and honesty.

As I grew up, smoking and the smells of tobacco were still very socially acceptable, in fact when I was about ten years old, I used to collect cigarette packets, and if ever I found a rare American packet, the first thing I would do was smell the inside of the empty packet for that rich aroma that the American cigarettes then had. French cigarettes were even rarer, and almost cigar like in their smell, all of which I found delightful.

In my teens smoking was a very sexi thing to do, and a great way of chatting up girls. Offer them a cigarette and not only did it make you look more manly and grown up, it was also an easy way of introducing yourself. If a girl blew cigarette smoke towards you, in meant she fancied you, and if your cigarette burnt down one side, it meant somebody loved you. All very innocent stuff eh.

I think busses were the only places I knew of where one wasn’t allowed to smoke, although you could if you went upstairs, so needless to say, that is where all the "real men" sat, leaving the downstairs for old people and children.

A visit to the cinema was a wonderful thing as films were shown by projectors from the back of the theatre, meaning that these beautiful rays of flickering light would shine through the darkness, cutting their way through the whirling wisps of cigarette smoke that drifted up from probably 80% of the audience, as they relaxed and enjoyed a smoke whilst watching the film. I used to love looking up above me at the wonderful effects that this produced, sometimes it was almost better than the film.

Although I have always loved the smell of tobacco, I have never been a heavy smoker, in fact some people tell me that I am not a "real" smoker at all. The reason they say this, is because I do not inhale the smoke as most people do. I smoke purely because it relaxes me, I love the smell, and it reminds me of my childhood and far better times.

I never heard one person ever complain about the smell of cigarette smoke, and as far as I know, the smell hasn’t changed over the years, so why do we hear it so much now? I personally do not like the smell of chewing gum, but I wouldn’t dream of rudely waving my hand in front of people’s faces if they chewed in front of me. It is fast becoming almost like a civil war in this country, with smokers being verbally and mentally attacked and abused by a so called civilised society, the majority of whom, do not have enough common sense to question the blatant lies that this government has spread with regard to second hand smoke.

I am not absolutely sure when "the stink" first raised its smelly little head, maybe about ten years ago, could be more, but suddenly I started hearing about this awful smell, the smell of cigarettes on people’s clothing, their breath, and in their hair. I thought at first that maybe something was wrong with me, maybe I had lost my sense of smell. But that was impossible for I could smell everything else, flowers, food, wood, grass cuttings, all smells which I love, even the sickly smell of chewing gum, so why couldn’t I smell this so called awful smell of tobacco?

Today I either smoke cigars or Spanish cigarettes made with "black" tobacco, which isn’t actually black, it is just called that because like cigars it contains hardly any chemicals, just pure tobacco, and like cigars, the smell is delicious!

I quickly came to the conclusion that this so called awful smell of tobacco which I was then hearing about more and more, was made not by the normal tobacco companies, but by HM In other words it was pure and simple propaganda, which I mistakenly thought at first would never catch on apart from the old lady "nanny" fraternity, if you’ll pardon the pun, which I certainly wasn’t a member of.

Now however it seems that time has definitely proven me wrong, for more and more people have been taken in by the big stink swindle, they have been led blindfolded into this government trap, and repeat this banal phrase verbatim. A few years ago these same people would have happily sat down to dinner besides smokers or stood in a bar beside some old boy rolling his Old Holborn into matchstick thin ciggies, but today, if they did the same, they would, in their brainwashed minds, certainly catch some terrible decease, and they would certainly come away stinking of something or other.

If only we could teach these poor ignorant people how to relax and enjoy life, if only they had experienced a marvellous life like I did, if only they would learn to question instead of accepting every dubious "fact" that is thrown at them. If only the stink from our hypocritical government would go away!



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