I'll not defend smoking; that'd be like being a character witness for Bin Leiden.
It is nevertheless true that to smoke is now more difficult than to quit.
In the not so olden days, for example, one could sit comfortably down in an easy chair anywhere and leisurely light up, knowing that ashtrays the size of swimming pools were always at hand; even at the hospital.
These days, of course, a smoker is fortunate to find anybody who will permit a lit cigarette within fifty metres of their potted geraniums, and even then the smoker will be handed an ash receptacle the size of a beer cap. This will ultimately result in spilled ash on the smoker's clothing, which will simply confirm everyone's opinion that the smoker is an uncouth slob.
Smokers are getting used to such ostracization, Between denial at the house, the job, the restaurant, the pub, the car, all government buildings, and the hospital, the smoker must now huddle in the shadows of derelict buildings with their fellow uncouth slobs. In fact, a mother will now cross the street with her children if she sees a jaunty, smoking pedestrian approaching.
Each and every cigarette pack now bears grotesque photos of blackened lungs and aesophagi, with such cheerful warnings as, 'if you smoke even one of these vile purveyors of death, your innards will certainly shrivel up and become filthy ash within your body,leading to an excrutiating and rapid demise.'
It is highly doubtful that skateboarders, say, would pursue their passion in the face of such attacks.
Now, I know that cigarettes are rather more harmful than the expressway. My grandfather smoked a pack a day for seventy-three years and died horribly, gasping pitifully for breath. The fact that he was buried in an avalanche where he was heli-skiing doesn't change the fact that another smoker died.
I am only suggesting that smokers need a tiny little break. After all, they are inhaling a vegetable, which is reportedly a food group that is healthy. It is also worth noting that 88% of smokers do not die of old age, and that their tax contributions are greater than all the country's banks combined. If you ever deigned to speak with a smoker, moreover, you will find that they can be quite engaging between wheezes.
Next time you see one, offer a smoker a dry, well-lit place to puff. And a decent ashtray.
Because I'm still lighting up. I'm no quitter.