Smoking Kills

Charlie Stone thought the smoking ban was yet another example of the ‘Nanny State’ being pushed onto grown ups who could make up their own mind up about things

He was in his local holding court with the regulars about just what he thought was wrong with this country

As far as he was concerned it was his body, his lungs, his life and he could do what he wanted. If he wanted to smoke he should be able to; if he wanted to kill himself it was his choice. Who did the government think they were going around telling people how they can live their lives. It’s supposed to be a democracy not a dictatorship

Passive smoking? Tough shit on those who were near. If you didn’t like it then move out of the way. There was no evidence that it even existed according to Charlie and he was happy to debate it with anyone who wanted to take him on. Over a fag of course

Not only did he have to put up with a ban he now had to see warnings and graphic photos all over his packs. Bloody hell it was enough to put you off of your dinner showing all of those tumours and opened up lungs. Children could get nightmares looking at them so how could that be a sensible approach to take?

Now his GP was on his case as well. Kept going on about how Charlie as doing himself no favours with his seventy a day habit. How he was going to end up causing permanent damage. How he was smoking himself into an early grave. He kept pushing Charlie to see the smoking cessation people at the NHS Trust but as far he was concerned this was the last pleasure he had and he would be buggered if he was going to give it up soon

He was on his fourth pint when he noticed the unopened packet of cigarettes on the floor under his table. He didn’t recognise the brand but a cigarette was a cigarette and with the bloody prices they were charging now this was like winning the lottery. The packet was covered with large print with the stark warning

‘SMOKING KILLS!’

At least it didn’t have the bloody photos all over he thought as he made his way outside to light up. He snorted with laughter when he saw the same warning written all over the cigarette itself. This was a new one on him but it didn’t come as a surprise because this was the way the world was going

He struck a match, lit up and took a deep drag; immediately he knew something was very wrong. The butt extended to the back of his throat and along the inside of his mouth, sealing it instantly. The outside portion slit open like a comedy cigarette that had exploded but there was no sound other than Charlie’s muffled scream. The strands wrapped themselves around his face and back of his head, constricting him like an anaconda

He fell first to his knees, then face down on the floor as the oxygen in his lungs was replaced with the noxious gas from the cigarette; within ten seconds he was dead. The strange object in his mouth returned to its original shape, still alight and smoking

Regulars who’d come out for a smoke tried to revive him, called an ambulance and raised a pint to him after he’d been taken away by the medics who thought it was probably a heart attack that had finished him off. His drinking cronies mused that it was ironic after all his bluster that it was finally the fags that had got him

One of them raised the packet that he’d found beside him when he’d tried to help
‘Well it’d be a shame to waste them and it’s only what Charlie boy would have wanted’ he said as he started handing them out to anyone who wanted one

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