Discovering the secrets of the cigarette smoker

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Having fallen foul of the circus and railway bosses in recent weeks, I thought I would lie low for a while and maybe talk about everyday issues such as the weather or the price of petrol.

You’re always on safe ground with them, I thought, then cigarette smoke came wafting through my open office window and I abandoned my plans and opted for another topic that’s likely to see me draw some flak.

I can’t abide smoking! (Note, I said smoking and not smokers – some people who indulge in the habit are actually quite nice).

When I started out in journalism it seemed everyone smoked – it was as if you couldn’t function as a reporter unless you had a cup of (black) coffee in one hand and a fag in the other.

Between gulps and puffs they’d bash away at the keyboard then flick the ash off the finished piece of copy and leave it in the editor’s tray.

Now we have clean air policies in the workplace and because I never see people smoking I just assumed they had stopped.

But a recent night out proved it was a case of out of sight out of mind as every so often a large contingent would saunter outside, brave the cold and light up. Now where’s 
the attraction in that?