In the outer reaches of my memory banks is an image of going on an airplane as a child and seeing people smoke cigarettes. I have less hazy recollections of going to restaurants with my parents and them being asked if we would like to sit in the smoking or non-smoking section. I can clearly remember going out late at night in college and waking up the next morning still reeking of cigarette smoke. I get a kick out of watching TV shows that take place in decades past and seeing smoking in the unlikeliest places a movie theater, an office, a hospital waiting room.
I am grateful for the ostracizing of cigarettes. The foul odor is not one I miss, but just as nature hates a vacuum, so does society.
What the jittery and the neurotic once used a cigarette for to calm their nerves and to allay boredom, now there is a cell phone in their hands. Talking, playing, texting, and shopping, it is ever present, inescapable, and just as hard to kick as a habit.