I grew up as a young child when smoking was commonplace, 90% of family and their friends smoked, at home, at work, in the car, on the train or bus.

Adverts where common on television and at the cinema, the large billboards scattered around depicted hardly anything but cigarettes.  You would go into a shop, cafe, restaurant and not only would the customers be smoking but the staff too. Doctors smoked whilst examining you, teachers puffed on pipes in the classroom, you were permanently exposed to smoke.

Smoking was shown on television and films to be glamorous for the women, manly for the men, no film or TV star of the time was ever seen without a cigarette.

The government in recent years may have pushed for non-smoking, but back then seemed to encourage it, (with the taxes it generated them who wouldn't).

Children were almost pushed to become smokers, immitation smoking toys were popular, so were sweet cigarettes made of candy, even Christmas time chocolates were styled as cigars or pipes.

I have seen smoking dropping away over the generations, with each new one less of them started to or continued to smoke. With the new regulations in place that prevent smoking in public buildings and especially in cars, maybe this latest generation may not be the passive smokers we were as young children, and not develop the nicotine dependencies that I'm sure it helped caused.

Things are so very different now, as a young 5 or 6 year old it wasn't unusual to be sent to the local shops to buy cigarettes for your parents and other adults, some shops sold them without question, at others you had to take a note requesting them.

Cigarette companies have used in-pack  promotions for many years, the Wills company placed collectable cards within their packets in the forties and fifties. In the 60's these became tokens, each had a points value so varied dependant on the size of packet purchased, these were collected until enough points had been accrued for the chosen article from their published catalogue.

The 70's also saw the big brands advertising in a different way, sponsoring big events such as Motor Racing, even creating their own Formula one cars, pulling smokers towards their brands and even encouraging young non-smokers to try.