Smoking was very much a thing when I was growing up. There was always smoking in pubs, and at peoples houses. Then the smoking ban came in, and people started quitting. Now, if you’re out at a pub and you want to smoke you have to go outside. I was dead against the ban when it came it, restaurants – sure, when you’re eating I can understand it, but pubs? But now, when I go round to my mum and dads local, and the number of smokers are getting smaller and smaller, I started noticing that the people my dad spoke to when he was outside smoking are people he wouldn’t normally talk to inside. The local’s one of them places where you know everyone to say hello to, but everyone’s in their own little groups at the bar that they tend to stand in, at the same place, on the same days. So maybe pushing us outside isn’t such a bad thing. Being a ‘social smoker’ kind of faded when the first winter came round and only people who actually needed the nicotine were prepared to brave the cold.
So the term social smoker has perhaps changed. The social element doesn’t come from only smoking when out with other smokers, but from socialising with the other people braving the hardcore British weather for their fix.