I read, with complete detachment, the latest story about how smokers are being vilified as paedophiles.
I remembered how, on my flight here, I was advised that not only was smoking illegal on the plane, but if I needed to light up, not only did I have to wait until I was outside the building, but I had to find a designated smoking area.
In my hotel room, every single door has a "no smoking" sign under the door number.
And, of course, as a non-smoker, this doesn't affect me in the least, other than my clothes never seem to reek of tobacco smoke any more. Which, as a non-smoker, I'm rather pleased about.
But I do have to say that I'm continually surprised by how complete the anti-smoking victory has been.
Not content with giving smokers and non-smokers the choice of a train carriage or a section of the plane, smoker's rights have been gradually eroded to the point where it now looks like a petty child is in charge of dreaming up new rules.
It's getting stupid now: not only are you not allowed to smoke inside the building, you're compelled to smoke at least 10 yards from the front door. You're not allowed to smoke in your van if you use it for work. There is talk of banning parents from smoking in cars where they might, one day, have children, let alone allowing them to smoke in front of their children.
Non-smokers are now taking the piss. Having banned smokers from the inside of pubs, they're now looking to ban them from the beer garden because it's spoiling their fun.
And it's bizarre to see so-called "social liberals", who are quite keen on having drugs unbanned and free speech and all the other social liberties restored, railing against smokers, apparently intelligent people happily swallowing any guff about second-hand smoke. These same people who will shred any "evidence" about the evils of recreational pills will also blindly swallow any "evidence" about the evils of smoking.
In my lifetime, I've seen smoking go from being a background noise to life to being something used as a cosh to hound people into misery. Petty spite seems to have become the order of the day. And it's happening all around the world. Even countries which have a healthy disrespect for official regulations are meekly toeing the line.
What is going on?
And who is going to be the next victim of the new puritans? We've already seen them start on booze and fatties.
Why are people so willing to be cowed?