Oh happy day – parliament have voted to ban all indoor smoking. At long last I’ll be able to go out to pubs and restauants without having my evening spoilt by second-hand smoke, and I can come home without my clothes and hair stinking of burnt tobacco.

I have the tiniest slither of sympathy for those working in the tobacco industry who are increasingly finding selling their products harder and harder, and hence have their livelihoods threatened – but then I think the tobacco industry is little more legalised drug dealing. There is a strong history of deliberate deception and ‘grooming’ in order to get people hooked younger and harder. I don’t think that anyone working in a tobacco company can truly claim to have a clean conscience (but then again, who can?).

I’d go so far as to say that I think smoking is one of the sicknesses in our society today – it burns through money, is addictive, is a pretty effective way of killing yourself and those you live/work with, and is thoroughly unpleasant for anyone who’s unfortunate enough to have to share the same office/platform/train/waiting room/bus/street….

That said, I have huge amounts of sympathy for those trying to quit. Nicotine is highy addictive, and it must be extremely unpleasant to give it up, especially when the “quick fix” is so easy to get hold off. I know it’s very easy to use all sorts of damaging habits (smoking, drinking, self-harm, sex, violent crime) as a way of dealing with stress and creating a (false, but comforting) feeling of being in control.

Of course it ultimately backfires – the fix wears out, and your worse off then before! Let’s hope this bill encourages more and more people to give it up for good!