That was the year I started my present job. Scares you? Believe me, it scares me.
But this is about smoking. In 1979 you were a thoughtless host at a party if you didn't provide ashtrays spread around you home for a party. If you were of a European bent, you would have cigarettes spread around for your guests. You were thoughtless if you did not ask a guest in your house if they smoked, and if they did, you should offer them an ashtray.
Kiddies may have followed their parental example by stuffing pine needles into a straw and lighting it, and then coughing their lungs out. Perhaps they liked to hold a 'fag' in their hands before eating the delectable sweet.
People wandered around shops back then just like they do now, except there was a good chance they would have a cigarette in their hand. If they needed two hands to examine a garment in Myer, they would stick their ciggie in their mouth.
Of course people needed to smoke while they were doing the supermarket shopping. It was and still is a stressful experience. A bit of ash on the broccoli did not matter. Hang on, there wasn't broccoli in the supermarket back then. Iceberg lettuce then, except it was just a lettuce. No one knew the name of it.
My fervently anti doctor father liked one doctor at least when he visited his surgery and noticed an overflowing ashtray.
R just told me of gay doctor at a surgery in Middle Park who would always offer his patients a Benson and Hedges cigarette. How to make your cigarettes tax deductible #101. He was Herbie Gibson. Do I have any aged gay reader who has not made themselves known? Time to speak up if you remember Herbie. I have been told he was an expert at prostate examination and many guys embarrassed themselves under his ministrations.
The tram driver and tram conductor would sit in their tram at the terminus and have a smoke together. The country trains had smoking or non smoking compartments. People smoking on planes were always down the back of the aircraft. No matter. The air circulated through the whole plane anyway.
In your office, it is your desk, so you will smoke at it and everyone did. Of course the office worker needed to smoke during their lunch break in the canteen.
After a meal in a restaurant people will need to have a smoke. They need to have one before hand too. Some hardcore had one between courses. Even more hardcore had one between bites.
So back in 1979, we should have been suffocating in cigarette smoke. We were constantly surrounded by a fug of cigarette smoke. Yet no one seemed to notice it.
Now, walk past an office building and you can't help but notice the stench of cigarettes near the doorway. Stand at a tram stop, smell someone smoking and you look around to see who the guilty party is. I recently heard a kiddie say sotto voice, Mummy, look, that man is smoking. You walk past someone who has recently smoked and you can smell it on their breath.
On the positive side, I have kissed plenty of guys who smelt of smoke, which may or may not be a turn on, but every person I have ever come across who has bad breath has been a non smoker. Now almost everyone is a non smoker so it no longer really applies, but I make this point from thirty years plus experience.
Then there was the nineties where people stopped smoking inside buildings and went out onto balconies or stairways or just outside. But the smokers were the interesting people and the lives of the party. Those left inside sat around staring at each other while the smoking people outside were entertaining all and sundry.
People are now severely restricted as to where they can smoke, yet people smoking seems to have far more impact now. We notice the smell of smoke. The societal change has been truly remarkable. From social norm to leper in two to three decades. Sadly most of the smokers from 1979 popped off a bit early and are not around to argue the point.
Warning: Medical authorities warn that smoking is bad for your health.