When I began working in local radio over 20 years ago, smoking was the rule rather than the exception. My memory is perhaps as hazy as the newsroom was then, but I would conservatively guess that out of the eight or nine colleagues I can remember working with at the start, all bar one smoked. Me. It didn’t take long before I joined the club, but it didn’t suit me.
My head would go light at the mere puff of a cigarette but the lure of the nicotine, particularly when out in the pub, was overwhelming. My head would feel like it was about to explode the morning after while the smell of stale ash on my clothes, on my skin, made me retch. I wouldn’t think of having a cigarette again until the next night out, unlike the professionals who would reach for one first thing in the morning. I was a pure amateur.