Last night I posted up a piece which was, in part, about the social isolation and disintegration that I thought the smoking ban was causing. This evening, among the responses, there was the following anonymous message:
I have been 3 years away from any social contact other than the odd hello with neighbours.
Being a widow with no family it was always going to be hard to get back into some semblance of normality with regard to socialising, but I didn’t think that it would be this bad.
I used to meet up in a cafeteria with some lady friends, but now that has stopped as a few of the ladies were smokers and didn’t want to stand in the street to have a cigarette.
I went to a quiz night at the local pub as there were quite a few elderly ‘singles’ there. That has stopped. I also playe bingo once a week and that too has stopped as there is no pleasure in having a drink there with no cigarette.
I am now on anti depressants and wish that I had the courage to kill myself and join my dear husband.
Thank you politicians for making my life not worth living after working from age 14 until 68. I am now 74 and have lost my soul and will to live in this lonely place.
Nothing needs to be added. Here in a nutshell is the social devastation caused by the smoking ban. It falls most heavily, of course, on the elderly.
I think these stories must be told. There must be thousands upon thousands – millions even – of people all over the country, and all over the world, in much the same situation. People who had their social lives destroyed. People who have become profoundly isolated and depressed as a consequence of smoking bans.
Our politically correct news media will never report any of it. They won’t report it because for them smokers are non-persons, people who don’t count. So it’s only going to be on blogs like mine that such people are going to find a voice.
So I’d like to appeal to my readers, particularly the elderly (65-70+) and vulnerable ones like my anonymous commenter, to write to me to describe their personal experiences of the smoking ban. I’m interested in younger readers’ experiences as well, of course.
And I’d like to ask readers if they know any elderly and vulnerable people who may have become isolated. Phone them up! Pop round and see them! Ask them how life has been for them. Get them to tell their story.
I’m sure there are thousands and thousands of horror stories out there, that need telling, and which antismokers would prefer never get told at all. When the stories start being told – and they will be told -, they might begin to feel ashamed of what they’ve done.
I’ve set up a googlemail account: email@example.com
And I’ve also put up a (rather crude) box in the right margin, which will stay there.
Emails are welcome from all over the world, but since this a UK blog, non-UK writers should give some indication where they are, and what sort of ban is in force where they live.
Any suggestions are welcome.