I took a complete break from smoking about seven or eight years ago and have never craved one since. Physically. Not smoking takes no effort at all, but Oh how I regret having foregone the pleasure of smoking; I loved smoking. Really enjoyed it. If I live to 75, I'm going to start again. Before the smoking ban here this year, I loved to spend an hour or two in the local Gasthaus just for the smell of the dense clouds of cigarette smoke around the bar, a delicious fragrancing of my clothes that I would sniff nostalgically for the rest of the day. Well, Nicotine has been a good friend to me since I was 15, with me at all the big moments in life. So when I took a break from fags, I switched to snuff. Made in an old English snuff mill, a Northern one, that cures and grinds Virginia tobacco.
It's not some eccentricity for public showing-away but a connection with a lifelong physiological partnership. The Nicotine is just a fraction of that from smoking, the dopamine effect imperceptible but the connection remains. With the benefit that one can take snuff when seated on an aircraft, at a restaurant table, in a bar. It confuses the bansturbators - nobody has told them to ban snuff. And sales are so inconsequential that HM Treasury can hardly be bothered to tax it - a 25g tin costs about £2.80 and lasts about a month.
There's only one drawback. As a seasoned snuffer, my sneeze reaction is pretty well under control; one intakes snuff like sniffing a flower, not snorting coke. One of my few pleasures in life is agreeing to let coke-heads take a pinch; inevitably they suck it straight into the upper septum where it takes about a second before leaving them in tear-streaming agony, puce-faced and contorted with pain. But sometimes - when out walking, when in the supermarket - the residual snuff induces a sneeze. No problem, as I always have a snuff-kerchief to hand.
But boy. The looks of fear and horror from anyone within ten metres. A couple of times I've done that little pantomimey thing of shaking the head and waving the hand 'no', though I don't think they were convinced.
|Snuff mills with parts dating to the 18th century still grind exceeding fine in English factories|