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I never smoked. Or, to put it more accurately, I never became a habitual smoker. In my late teens and twenties I would smoke an occasional cigarette or cigar in social settings, and sometimes even one or two on my own. I enjoyed them at the time, but never felt any great need to do it again.

So I have rather ambivalent feelings towards tobacco and particularly the current trend towards banning smoking in public places. I know it is far better for everyone's health to have clean air, but I have a fondness for the smell of fresh tobacco smoke (not stale, but who does like stale tobacco?). Part of the reason is pyschological – I can associate the smell with happy times at my grandparent's house and with other pleasant social gatherings.

Still, these days I chose the non-smoking areas whereever I have the choice. Seeing my grandfather crippled with emphysema was sobering and very sad; seeing the black lungs of smokers in the hospital morgue where I sometimes stopped by to collect some fresh human brain was sickening. Today, I have not the slightest urge to light up anywhere – yet sometimes walking in the street and catching a breath from someone's lit cigarette can be very pleasing. Life is strange.

(Inspired by this post)

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