WE hear a lot these days about discrimination and harassment towards women.

But there remains an area where blatant abuse can be carried out with impunity.

Smoking in these times is demonised, and those among us who do enjoy an occasional ciggy, are careful to abide by the rules, as to whereabouts they are permitted to indulge.

My sister, (who is now in her early eighties), is a light smoker, and carefully chooses an outdoor spot, where she can light up, without offending anyone.

Recently, she was sitting on a park bench, (away from others) and decided to have a cigarette, while she waited for her son and her grand-daughter, who were in a play park.

She was approached by two strangers, (middle-aged), and she claims, the worse for a few drinks!

This couple immediately lambasted her for smoking, and added that the habit probably caused her face to be ‘wrinkly’, and her clothes to be smelly! (Not true).

She was dumbstruck by the aggression shown, from two people (who had gone out of their way, to get to her seat!)

As her son came over to see what was going on, they quickly turned away, and resumed their walk.

Perhaps the fact that he is a tall stocky man, persuaded them to shorten their lecture!

Nobody is condoning smoking, but we should realise that someone who is having a puff, in a permitted space, is not breaking the laws of our democratic country.

Whereas those (with no medical authority) who approach smokers with aggressive messages, most definitely are causing public nuisance!

Apparently, these ‘health police’, tend to choose lone, female smokers, for condemnation, I’ve heard.


Poole Road, Bournemouth