I'm under no illusions. I know perfectly well that the one thing that could make a difference to my ears as well as my general health would be to stop smoking.
I assumed all smokers knew that. Surely there are none of us left still in denial ...
Check this conversation I had yesterday while huddled in the cold with a fellow addict.
Her: I've got a hole in my lung.
Me: Oh dear. Shouldn't imagine smoking is a good idea ...
Her: Aha! That's where you're wrong. my doctor told me on no account should I give up smoking.
Her: Yep. Apparently, the tar is blocking up the hole. If I stop, the tar would go and the hole would open up and get bigger.
Me: And the doctor told you this?
Her: (rolling another fag) Yep. I've got asthma too. I've only got about 60% lung function. D'you know what the doctor told me to do if I have an asthma attack?
Me: Let me guess. He told you to smoke a fag.
Her: Yep. He said that way I'm concentrating on taking deep breaths in.
Me: Was this by any chance the same doctor who told you about the tar ...?
Now, like I said, I'm not in denial about the health-giving properties of tobacco, but any activity that has the upside of giving you insights like the above conversation has to have something going for it ...