The year 2020 will be remembered for centuries as one of the grimmest we have lived through. Completely overshadowed by the Covid 19 a respiratory virus has killed millions worldwide. It has left the world economy in tatters and lockdowns are to be expected well into Spring 2021.

From a smoker’s point of view how has this impacted us? The science says in plain English that if you are a smoker you have a statistically far less chance of contracting Covid 19, less chance of being hospitalised and of course of a much lesser chance of dying from Covid 19. The paper highlighted says a 76% reduction. I can only conclude until a vaccine has been proven to work, now is not the time to quit smoking.

Also, smokers are doing their bit for the Chancellor Rishi Sunak as tobacco revenues are up 34% this year. I am quite resentful that the government treats smokers so badly but love the revenue they give.

When in the summer the government relaxed the ban on eating at restaurants al fresco dining was all the rage. I got the impression people were really happy to go out and meet people and have a meal, drink, and is you do, smoke and a vape. However, as summer turned into autumn and the temperatures dropped, the prospect of sitting outside cold and possibly damp, thoughts turned to outside heating and comfort. As I said to a leading journalist on Twitter, us smokers since 2007 have had this inconvenience for 13 years. I added in irony, don’t worry you’ll get used to it.

At last smokers are fighting back. At Ipswich and Colchester hospitals cigarette shelters and bins have been installed as smokers ignored the no smoking signs. If only we had done this in 2007 when the smoking ban came in.

Bless UKIP in Wales who want smoking rooms reintroduced in pubs. As the article states in 2017, in a poll, 60% of people would be amenable to the idea. The other option would be to allow, particularly in smaller pubs, two nights designated for people to smoke.

As we will have a limited Christmas with whom we can meet up with, may I wish you a Happy, fat eating, alcohol guzzling, smoking and vaping Christmas. God bless.