Apparently, there will be less than 10% of the UK population still smoking by 2020 if the government has its way. What will people do instead I wonder? Drink more? Eat more? Gamble more?
Will everyone who quits smoking become better adjusted and a better person? What about us non-smokers? Does this mean we are already a better class of citizens?
Will those glamourous black and white films full of hard men and beautiful women tapping their cigarettes on their silver cases, lifting a strand of tobacco leaf from their tongue, or seductively starring into the eyes of the one lighting their cigarette become hackeneyed and unappealing?
Lucky Luke lost his cigarette way back when in the 80's I think. (For the non-Francophiles amongst you, he's a cowboy comic book hero.) It was replaced with a rather limp bit of straw. So much for precedents.
Smoking is about transgression. Rebellion. Cool. Being Bad. Tattoos and Sex. Piercings. Wearing either chipped nail varnish or very long red talons. About dyeing your hair blond, and then maybe letting the roots show. Nudity. Notoriety!
All those things we secretely dream of (well, I do) from the safety of the Middle and Social Acceptance.
So what's in store for the 11% who will be persuaded to quit one way or another over the next 10 years? A longer life? A healthier life? A happier life?
Maybe just a bit more money in their wallets. Just don't go and spend it all on sweets.