The following post by Natalie Solent on Samizdata is worth repeating in full:
Writing in today's Times behind a paywall, Natascha Engel, Labour MP for North East Derbyshire, relates how she stood in the rain outside a miner's welfare hall smoking with a angry but partially mollified constituent.
...he told me about his father in law who used to come to the welfare every night and spent all evening drinking one pint of Guinness. He was a chain smoker. Since the smoking ban he's never been back.Natascha Engel now says that, given the chance again, she would not vote for the ban. It is good that she has the empathy to see and the courage to state that reason the smoking ban is wrong is that it makes people more miserable than they would otherwise have been. Just that. That is reason enough. Arguments about health are very interesting, and I have no doubt that the dangers of passive smoking have been exaggerated, but the fact that an old man has had the solace of smoking in company with his friends denied him trumps all that. I do wish Ms Engel had been able to perceive this at the time when her vote might have done some good, but better late than never.
“He can't stand outside in the rain like this. He's an old man.” He told me about how his father-in-law never goes out any more. “He's lonely and miserable. And he still chain smokes.”