Sunday, 1 January 2006

Stub 'em out

Much in today's news-lite papers about a total ban on smoking in just about any open area of Scotland. So, no lighting up just as you set off across Rannoch Moor. I'm sure the wildlife will thank you for it. My normal attitude to any "Let us Ban It" movement is quite unfriendly, However on this question, I do agree with the views of a quick-response paramedic.

I found myself standing in a house, sometime in the small hours. In front of me was a women who was just starting to go into the early stages of labour. Also in the sparse sitting room were four small children, a husband and a grandmother.

"Do you mind if I have a fag?", the woman asked, peering over her baby carrying belly.

"Been smoking a lot?", I asked while eyeing an asthma inhaler.

"Yeah", she replied, "they won't let me smoke in the hospital, will they?"

"No, they tend to frown on people smoking around newborns - not good for their health you know".

I looked at the children again.

"Hi kids", I said, "who here has asthma?"

Two of the children put their hands up.

"You know of course", I said turning to the mother lighting up her cigarette, "that your smoking has probably given them asthma".

"Yeah", she replied, "Kids - go stand outside while your mum has her fag".

The two children, one four years old, one perhaps seven, both dressed in their night clothes went out through the front door into the freezing air of the night.

I don't think the mother quite understood what I was trying to tell her.

Luckily the ambulance crew turned up before I could tell her that the best thing she could do was die quickly of lung cancer so her kids might get adopted into a family that may have the slightest concern for their health.

Yes - I am an anti-smoking nazi, especially when you are fucking up the lives of children who have no say in the matter.

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