I think the problem is that addicted smokers, however nice, educated, and informed about passive smoking can be completely oblivious to it when they are in the process of giving offence.
I’ve recently been laid low by a particularly nasty bug, and my dear friend G, (who doesn’t read this forum) has been wonderful in looking after me. Bringing food, prescriptions, gossip, and assiduously nipping out to the balcony for her fag fix, even in torrential rain.
But when I was feeling better and fancied tottering out, first time in some days,she helped me down the stairs, linked me down the road, found me a nice sheltered sunny outdoors spot at the cafeneio and got the drinks in. Then lit up and within seconds was wafting smoke across at me as she continued the tale – with gestures which kept bringing the cigarette nearer to me – of shenanigans at the carnival party. My coughing fit just didn’t register – she’d heard me doing that for days. My moving my chair away had her asking if I was cold and we should move indoors. She’d have been absolutely mortified if I’d told her that her smoking was really distressing me, so I kept quiet and tried not to inhale.
I understand only too well how this happens because, Reader, once upon a time I was that smoker.