This is the story of a friend of mine called Dave who lives in London. He is in a quandary and does not know what to do. Dave is 55 years old, married with two children and works as a lorry driver. He drinks alcohol regularly at the local Pub and is a chain smoker. In fact he has admitted to sometimes smoking more than thirty cigarettes a day.
Dave’s world is about to fall apart. He is stubborn and a creature of habit. He has smoked cigarettes since he was a schoolboy of fourteen and he has no intention of stopping now. He knows smoking is bad for his health but he takes the view that if smoking was going to kill him, it would have done so a long time ago.
Dave’s quandary is a big and developing one. His Wife is a non-smoker and has tolerated until now his smoking habits. She is concerned at the effects passive smoking is having on her personally and also on the wellbeing of their two children. She has decided to file for a Divorce.
Furthermore, the Government has imposed a nationwide ban on the smoking in all public places including Pubs, Restaurants and sporting events. Even when he visits his local Betting Shop, he must smoke his Fag outside. Just to add insult to injury, Dave’s Truck company are imposing new regulations for their employers in compliance with European law guidelines and Dave will no longer be able to smoke during working hours, not even during a break. That’s ‘taking the piss’, Dave says and going too far.
Dave’s health is none too good. He has symptoms of asthma and a whoozy cough which plays him up. He pays a visit to his local GP (doctor) who has pretty much given up on him because he will not listen to the advice given to him. His friends are deserting him by the ‘bucket load’ and the neighbors keep their distance. He has become a social outcast in his own community and ostracized for doing something which he enjoys.
Dave has written to me as a dear friend and also a lawyer and counseller in hope that I have a magic wand and can stop his world from falling apart. He protests strongly that it is legal for grown ups in the Uk to smoke and that his right to smoke should be respected as much as the right of others not to smoke. Dave must surely come to realize that he is his ‘own worst enemy’. This is the last straw for Dave. What shall I suggest he does?