Suvrat: I think you're missing the point here slightly. Dennis Leary was a comedian, he wasn't speaking seriously.

I think I can safely say that what Leary actually meant was that the obsession with longer living, and the spin-off obsession with smoking, are exaggerated and ridiculous. We're all gonna die sooner or later, and most of us are not going to have fun doing it.

In smoker's rights, themusic says that smoke-related deaths are a terrible way to go. So? What's a good way to go? At 27, weighing a quarter of your normal weight, with no body hair or natural immunity left, like my friend Dannie did? In a screeching ambulance, en route from one hospital to another because his insurance wasn't valid in the first one, like my grandfather did? In a government nursing home, not having remembered her own or her children's names for the last twelve years, incontinent, lonely and befuddled, like my husband's grandmother did?

These people did not die of smoking - they died from cancer, bureaucracy and old age respectively. And they all had horrible deaths. So will I. So will you. Dying is an ugly, sad, undignified business, and the paranoia about smoking is just a displacement activity for the natural fear it inspires in us.