IT IS about 15 years since Gulliver gave up the evil weed. Over time, many of the hardships of being a smoker have become mere embers in his memory. But a recollection was kindled after reading a recent report by Airports Council International, an industry group. In it, ACI listed the three current amenities that are most likely to disappear from American airports in the near future. It is an unsurprising triumvirate: payphones, banks and smoking rooms.

There are good reasons to suppress memories of frantic searches for somewhere to have a final cough-and-a-drag before the forced abstinence of a long-haul flight. Even better cause to forget the disgusting rooms that awaited at the end of those searches. After reading the ACI report, a particular impression resurfaced of a tiny perspex pod in the departure lounge at Gatwick airport that used to pass as a smoking room. Standing in it, cheek to cheek with equally desperate souls, while fans thundered overhead, it felt as if your dignity was being sucked away alongside your smoke.

Those rooms have now gone….Continue reading