Smoking Mad
 

Posted on 09 Jun 2015, by Barry Verber

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Don’t you hate it when diners get up to go outside to smoke, especially if their food has just been served ? What makes them so desperate to light up often between courses ? Is the food and wine not a big enough fix without the addition of nicotine ?

I have often pondered this question when looking around at adjacent tables. I, for example, hated to sit in restaurants surrounded by smokers who, for me, ruined the whole dining experience…and now that the law has changed life is greatly improved all round from an atmospheric point of view, although I have noticed puffs of smoke from e-cigarettes clouding restaurant skies of late, culprits seemingly delighted that the law is a step away from them…at least there is no lingering smell or detritus as a result.

Two female friends of mine, both recently converted to the ‘e’, told me that they are addicted to the nicotine but that they are avoiding the tar which is the most dangerous component in a normal cigarette, and thereby avoiding the carcinogens.

I wonder.

So, smoking whilst eating in restaurants is a thing of the past thank goodness, but not if you are eating outside I’m afraid.

A couple of weeks ago on a warm July evening, eating a good meal at Dock Kitchen in North Kensington where everyone was eating outside (including Boris) I found myself surrounded by three tables of smokers, and it was very annoying I have to say. One middle aged man in
particular, unfortunately in my immediate sight line, with a pile of smoking paraphernalia in front of him, rolling, lighting, puffing, drinking, eating, rolling, lighting, puffing, drinking, eating, a mechanical sequence ad nauseam…and he looked awful: white faced blotched skin; overweight.

I was tempted to complain to the mayor but I guess he has greater issues on his mind than my personal irritation. 151 billion cigarettes were sold worldwide last year, down a few percentage points, so what chance do I have with my complaints…

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