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June 08 2012

Conjoined twins through Annabel Clark's lens - in pictures

For four years, Annabel Clark has been photographing sisters Lupita and Carmen Andrade. Her aim? To change the way people look at conjoined twins. Simon Hattenstone reports

March 18 2011

Dirt – an exhibition of our fear of filth

Dirt, rubbish – our attitude to it tells us much about ourselves. An exhibition explores our fear of, and obsession with, filth, from the Great Stink of London to gleaming white modernism

A 1837 watercolour of the Great Dust Heap at Kings Cross in London shows a black mountain range, a miniature model of the Alps, surrounded by urban allotments, slum housing and a smallpox hospital. Horses pull carts loaded with debris up to its peaks over which crows swarm. This garbage dump makes an appearance in Our Mutual Friend and the poet RH Horne published an essay about it – "Dust, or Ugliness Redeemed" – in Dickens's journal Household Words. Horne described the underclass of scavengers and sorters who clambered up the dust heap's slopes, ekeing out a living from the city's waste. Everything was recycled: the fine cinder-dust was used to make bricks or sold as fertiliser, the bones went to the soap boiler, old linens were made into paper, the metals were melted down, even the pelts from dead cats had a price. In 1848 the mountain was moved to make way for the current railway terminus and exported to Russia, where the ash was mixed with clay and used to make the bricks that rebuilt war-ravaged Moscow.

Dirt, the new exhibition at the Wellcome Collection, takes us on a fascinating tour through the grimy sublime to illustrate the ways in which we use filth to construct our worlds, social systems and hierarchies. The anthropologist Mary Douglas famously described dirt as "matter out of place", dependant on context for definition. Inspired by this idea, the curator Kate Forde has chosen to focus on six cities at different moments in time, transporting us from 17th-century Delft to the contemporary slums of New Delhi via 19th-century London and Glasgow, interwar Dresden and New York's Fresh Kills landfill site. Dirt is a category violation, a threat to our idea of order and a reminder of our mortality but, however hard we try, it cannot be ignored. Our waste reflects back an uncomfortable truth about ourselves: "The urban physiology of excretion," wrote the historian Alain Corbin, "constitutes one of the privileged means of access to social mentalities."

Compared to the quagmire that was 17th-century London, Delft was thought to be one of the cleanest cities in the world – its obsessive citizens, as one traveller to the Netherlands commented, were "perfect slaves to cleanliness". In The Embarrassment of Riches Simon Schama writes of the spic-and-span Dutch towns and interiors that "shone from hours of tireless sweeping, scrubbing, scraping, burnishing, mopping, rubbing and washing". This war against dirt was pursued with military rigour, as though guarding against the muddy swampland that might bubble up to reclaim the dyke-bound nation. The cleaning regimen, celebrated in domestic scenes by De Hooch and Vermeer, expressed a deep Calvinist fear of shame. Cleanliness was, as the saying went, next to godliness.

Seventeenth-century Delft was also the home of Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, the draper and scientist who ground his own magnifying lenses to inspect the quality of cloth and discovered by accident a wonderful active world of teeming bacteria that he called "animalculae". Microbiology would initiate a scientific war on dirt. Filth had always been associated with illness but, before the late 19th century when Louis Pasteur proved the germ theory of the transmission of disease, contagion was thought to be borne by noxious air, or miasma. The danger to health was believed to come from the stinking exhalations that accompanied decay, not from the putrid matter itself – and each infectious gas was thought to have its own distinctive stench. Microscopy showed an invisible, pulsating world of dangerous pollutants that spread disease by other means.

William Heath's 1828 cartoon, A Monster Soup, shows a lady looking through a microscope at a sample of drinking water from the Thames. She drops her teacup in disgust when she observes the menagerie of diabolical beasts it contains – hydras, gorgons and chimeras. A decade earlier it had been decided to connect house drains to London's sewers that had previously been used to carry off rainwater. Thanks to the increasingly popular flush toilet, the river was soon turned into a stinky swamp and cholera became rife. The much-feared disease, which caused vomiting and diarrhoea, would literally suck the fluid out of its victims, turning them anaemic and blue within a matter of hours. In 1849 an epidemic killed 15,000 people.

Despite jokes about contaminated drinking water, the miasma theory remained prevalent and people continued to drink it. Medical statisticians tried to prove that cholera was spread by polluted air by showing that you were less likely to die the higher you lived above the Thames, because at lower altitudes the miasma originating in the fetid water could gather and ferment. However, it was acknowledged that little was known about the disease. After another epidemic in 1853, the Lancet medical journal asked: "What is cholera? Is it a fungus, a miasma, an electrical disturbance, a deficiency of ozone, a morbid off-scouring of the intestinal canal? We know nothing. We are at sea in a whirlpool of conjecture."

The following year John Snow, Queen Victoria's anaesthetist and the "father of epidemiology", conducted research that would prove that people became infected when they swallowed faecal water, the bacteria that lived in the excrement multiplying in their intestines with fatal effect. Snow drew a "ghost map" of Soho that recorded the many deaths due to cholera over a month and a half, illustrating how these clustered around the Broadwick Street pump that had been dug, it turned out, next to an old cesspit. When the handle of the pump was broken, the cholera subsided.

In 1858, after privies and cesspools overflowed during a particularly hot summer to cause the "great stink of London", which nearly saw Parliament decamp to Richmond, a new system of sewers was commissioned. Joseph Bazalgette's vast network of tunnels, which used 318m dust-filled bricks, deposited the city's shit into the eastern reaches of the Thames. The last attack of cholera was in 1866 in a part of east London where these works had not been finished. (After flooding in the summer of 2004 flushed 600,000 tons of raw sewage into the Thames, the digging of a new £3.6bn "super sewer" the size of the channel tunnel was begun.)

If bacteriology explained the spread of disease, it created new anxieties. The invisible organisms causing infection and illness were no more apparent or comprehensible to most people than noxious gases. Housewives relied on scientists to help them protect their families and combat bacteria with a proliferating range of new chemical disinfectants. In 1911 more than 5 million people visited the First International Hygiene exhibition in Dresden, where information about anatomy and healthcare was disseminated, and where many cleaning products were on display (it was organised by an industrialist who manufactured them). The poster advertising the exhibition featured as the symbol of hygiene an all-seeing eye.

In 1930 many of these exhibits were rehoused in Dresden's Deutsches Hygiene museum, a series of gleaming white modernist buildings that looked purposely sterile against the backdrop of the old baroque city. When the Nazis seized power three years later the museum was co-opted by the Nazi propaganda machine, keen to assert the importance of heredity, eugenics and "racial hygiene". Disgust took on metaphorical uses; in opposition to the Aryan master race, the Jews were depicted as unclean – germs, cancer cells, rats. In one photograph on display at the Wellcome, Nazi officers and party members look on as Jews, to further identify them with dirt, are made to scrub the pavements of Vienna.

Elsewhere, modernist architecture represented the marriage of science and ambitious social purpose in the war on filth and disease. In a 1943 poster Berthold Lubetkin's Finsbury Health Centre (1938), today sadly neglected but once a model for the NHS, is shown as a brilliant white façade veiling a Victorian world of ruin, disease and neglect. The industrialised west hoped to hide its waste, and everything associated with it, behind a technological front. We throw our rubbish away, but have little idea of where it ends up. In 1948, for example, New York started sending tons of its pungent detritus by barge to a marshy part of Staten Island called Fresh Kills. In 1987, 29,000 tons of rubbish a day was being dumped there and spread by 650 sanitation workers across a sprawling 2,200-acre site. It could be seen from space with the naked eye but few New Yorkers knew it existed.

In 2001 Fresh Kills was decommissioned, but after the 9/11 attacks the rubble, twisted beams and crushed cars from the World Trade Center were dumped there. Unlike London's Great Dust Heap, very little of Fresh Kills's rubbish was ever recycled, but the site itself is to be detoxified and reused, covered with grass to create a park over an enormous time capsule of post-industrial waste. Even so, displaying our deep horror and ambivalence to dirt, many people protested that a garbage dump was an unsuitable plinth for a memorial to heroes.

The Wellcome exhibition makes clear that the water-borne diseases that have been banished in the west are still commonplace in the developing world, where 2.6 billion people have no access to toilets and diarrhoeal diseases kill a child every 15 seconds. In India, for example, despite the practice being outlawed in 1993, there are still a million manual scavengers who use straw baskets to remove night soil from dry latrines. This job is performed mainly by women from the lowest sub-caste of the Dalit, who are rendered doubly untouchable by their association with dirt.

But dirt, as Mary Douglas showed, can also take on symbolic import as a powerful symbol of purification and renewal. Each year, in a sacred rite, statues of the goddess Durga, made from dirt gathered from prostitutes' thresholds, where men are thought to have cast off their virtue, are taken in procession to the Ganges where worshipers look on as they dissolve in the muddy water.

Dirt: The Filthy Reality of Everyday Life is at the Wellcome Collection, Euston Road, London N1 from 24 March to 31 August. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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March 21 2010

Circle hospital/ Foster & Partners

It looks like a five-star-hotel, but Norman Foster's Circle hospital in Bath could revolutionise patient care

"We wanted to put hospitality into hospitals" says Ali Parsa, the eloquent, confident managing partner of health company Circle, and "a night in a hospital costs more than in a five-star hotel, so why shouldn't people get a similar experience?" Indeed, the first reaction on entering Circle's new hospital outside Bath is that you've entered a hotel by mistake. There's a cheery brown-uniformed concierge, a scent of non-hospital food, and a clean-lined, light-filled, stone-paved modern interior with large cylinders of gauzy cloth hanging, like giant lamp shades, from the ceiling.

The last space I saw like this was the lobby of the Shore Club hotel on Miami Beach, also hung with gauzy cylinders (and whose bedrooms, as it happens, were so relentlessly minimal that they resembled those in a sanatorium). It's a comparison that would make Parsa happy. Circle's aim, according to one of his medical partners, is to "give people good health, not an experience of illness".

In most cities, if you look for the most lumpen, ungainly, charmless building, hospitals from the 1960s and 1970s will be near the top of the list. Gartnavel general in Glasgow, the Royal Liverpool, Addenbrooke's in Cambridge, the Royal Free and Guy's in London, to name a random few, all follow the same type. They are silos for the sick; multi-level garages for parking the unwell. Inside they are more like the interiors of aircraft carriers, vast unwindowed complexes linked by bewildering networks of corridors. You might have thought some decency and dignity would be suited to places where people are born and die, but the makers of these hospitals didn't seem to agree.

Places supposed to make you feel better start off by making you feel worse, and there are reasons, or excuses, for this. It's hard to justify a pound spent on an architectural nicety that might otherwise go on medical equipment, and hospital design is framed by guidelines about hygiene and efficiency to a greater degree than almost any other building type. If there were a contest for budget between aesthetics and saving lives, saving lives would naturally win, and never mind that administrative bureaucracy is rarely presented with the same challenge.

Yet, according to another Circle medical partner, Jonathan Boulton, people are healthier if they are relaxed. Their heart rate is lower, he says, they bleed less in operations, require less aggressive anaesthetisation, and are more likely to respond well to their treatment: "All the really bad outcomes tend to come with anxious patients." Good design can contribute to people feeling relaxed. For this reason, Circle hired Foster & Partners to design their Bath hospital, and are getting other celebrated architects, including the practices of Richard Rogers and Michael Hopkins, to design other hospitals now in the pipeline.

Circle is a business, the first of its kind, in which medical staff are partners, in order to "give them more control". It is planning other centres in places including Plymouth, Reading and Edinburgh. Its income comes mainly from private patients, either on insurance schemes or paying for themselves, but it also treats National Health patients, and expects to do so more.

Ali Parsa is a former investment banker with Goldman Sachs, and his approach is bracingly business-like – image consultants were brought in to create the Circle brand, "a sign of inclusion, continuity and perfection". The Bath hospital is located, practically but unsentimentally, in a business park, next to Audi and Mercedes Benz dealerships, albeit on the edge of rolling countryside.

Circle's aims include "no compromise on clinical outcome", a determination to "change how hospitals are run from the bottom up", and to be "relentless about changing patients' experience". So doctors were allowed to specify exactly the equipment they thought best, and sophisticated systems were installed for managing patient information and the supply of drugs. A chef was brought in from the Michelin-starred country house-hotel and spa, Lucknam Park.

And the gigantic, award-laden practice created by Norman Foster was asked to design their very first hospital building. In recent years, the Foster company has been making headlines with extravagant blooms, like a project in Moscow seemingly made out of multi-storey orange segments, but the Circle commission brought them back to more strait-laced principles of 20 years ago.

The important things, according to Foster partner Spencer de Grey, are "the clarity of the basic diagram, generous space, easy orientation, natural light and natural materials". Corridors were abolished, where possible, and signs kept to a minimum, as the building is sufficiently clear for people to find their way about without them. Much of the floor is in oak, the architects having demonstrated that it would be no less hygienic than the more conventional lino. Lavender grows outside bedroom windows. Operating theatres, usually windowless, are here day-lit.

The impressive thing is that the building does exactly what its makers say it does. It provides obviously good things that somehow get missed out of other hospitals. If we want our surgeons to be wakeful and happy, which I think we do, it can only help if they can see clouds and sky and sunshine when they take a break. And it can only be beneficial if patients are calm rather than bewildered on arrival.

We have learned to be wary of bankers bearing magic potions, but in Parsa's case there is no catch. Personally, I find the relentlessness of Circle's management-speak unnerving, but when they call their Bath building "one of the finest hospitals in Britain", they're right. I also think the idea of a humane architecture could be taken much further – there's still something mechanistic about the way it delivers its good things of light, nature and clarity – but it is still a triumph to have these good things at all.

The government is embarked on a many-billion-pound programme of rebuilding hospitals, under its little-loved private finance initiative. There is every reason to believe it will deliver the same kind of clunkers, with updated styling, that were built over a generation ago. The important question is whether the principles of Circle Bath can be applied to much bigger hospitals, in the less charmed world of the National Health Service.

Parsa and de Grey both insist that they can. They say that they worked to a budget similar to those of NHS hospitals, and that future buildings will be cheaper now they've learned from the experience of their first hospital. They say the principles of their Bath design can be adapted to bigger buildings, and even that the climate of the NHS is changing in favour of their approach. I hope they're right, and that someone in the National Health Service is paying attention. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

February 03 2010

War on smokers: the backlash

The government wants to halve the number of cigarette users, infuriating the tobacco industry and diehard smokers

This week, the Department of Health put out a 70-page document titled A Smokefree Future, full of plans to make cigarettes the preserve of a very hard-bitten minority. On the front, a twentysomething father looks lovingly at his young son. Inside, scores of other parents are doing the same – all apparently enjoying the health and happiness that comes from a life without cigarettes.

Having banned smoking in all enclosed public spaces in 2000, thereby securing a 25% drop in recorded numbers of smokers, the government's new aim is to cut the proportion of us who smoke by another half – so that by 2020, only one in 10 Britons will still have the habit.

The proposed means to such an ambitious end include a new "doorway ban" on those droves of sad smokers who cluster in the entrances of workplaces, the expanded issuing of nicotine patches, the selling of cigarettes in plain packaging, the removal of tobacco products from display in shops, the banning of vending machines – and, just in case any top-flight athletes are hoping for a few pre-race gaspers – "a tobacco-free London 2012 Olympics".

In Scotland, things are a little further along: late last month, the Edinburgh parliament passed new legislation for much the same measures. So it is that the UK is moving yet further into the post-cigarette age: something that, for those of us who are old enough to remember a smoke-fugged country where the habit was all but encouraged, may prompt either a shiver of nostalgia, a sharp feeling of relief, or an ambivalent mixture of both.

If you are in your mid-40s or over, you will probably recall cigarette adverts on TV, mass smoking on public transport (the London Underground was a particular joy), the pleasures of motoring trips with perma-smoking adults, celebration boxes of fags that were obligatory for any family Christmas (we had JPS ones in our house, packaged in a huge black tube), and much more besides. Chatshow hosts and guests puffed freely, footballers had a crafty cig at half-time, and even high-profile athletes were partial. If you doubt this, you should google a hurdler named Shirley Strong, Olympic silver medallist and unabashed smoker, and marvel at what a weird place the world once was.

But no more. Smoking may still be on the rise in developing countries, by around 3.5% a year, but in most of the industrialised world, it's all falling numbers, anti-smoking zeal, and grim government statistics. You probably know the relevant figures: according to the official numbers, smoking causes 80,000 deaths in England each year, and costs the NHS an annual £2.7bn – and on a worldwide scale, cigarettes kill more people than illegal drugs, road accidents, diabetes and alcohol abuse put together. In the last century, smoking is estimated to have taken the lives of around 100 million people.

Still, in this country, around 10 million of us still do it. Behind that figure lurks no end of sociological intrigue. In our prisons, 70% of inmates smoke. Age-wise, smoking peaks in the 25-34 age group at 26%, and falls to its lowest among the over-60s. Among men of Bangladeshi origin, more than 40% are tobacco-users; but women from the same background hardly bother at all, registering a figure of 2%.

Yorkshire has the greatest regional concentration of smokers, at 25% of the population; London and the east of England bring up the rear at 19% each. As for pregnant women, 14% continue to smoke, and that figure is based on people filling in their own forms, so it's safe to assume it's actually higher.

By far the most clear-cut differences surround how smoking rates reflect the lifestyles of the UK's social classes. Among young illicit smokers, take-up rates across income and wealth divides are reasonably similar, but once adulthood kicks in, the better-off tend to quit, while those lower down the social scale are much more likely to carry on. The fifth of the population with the highest incomes register a smoking rate of 15%, whereas in the lowest income group, the figure is nearly twice that – and though smoking rates over the last decade have come down among the population as a whole, those classed as "manual workers" have only managed a paltry drop of two percentage points, from 31% to 29%.

And now, as smokers shiver outside pubs, clubs and factories, the government is coming for them – though this time, using rhetoric more cautious and cuddly than the stereotype of some great anti-smoking clampdown might suggest.

When I catch health secretary Andy Burnham on his way to yesterday's cabinet meeting, he is full of talk about "going with the grain of human behaviour", avoiding the invasion of people's private space, and assuring smokers that if they want to carry on blitzing their lungs and arteries and pouring money into the pockets of both the tobacco companies and the Treasury, it's their choice – though help is available, and more accessible than ever. The essential point, he claims, is to go for policy that's "heavily targeted on the new flow of smokers coming in, rather than restricting the liberties of smokers who are already there. If they look at where I was focusing my efforts yesterday, I hope they'll see that."

"At times," he tells me, "we've allowed ourselves to have this 'nanny state' tag thrown at us, by not being clear about the limits of where it's right to go. We've got to be more cautious and precise in our language." He is, he tells me, instinctively opposed to outlawing smoking in cars (even with children on board). But, like a good New Labourite, neither is he opposed to "having a debate".

When I ask him about the so-called "doorway ban", by contrast he sounds altogether more certain. "A doorway is part of a building, essentially," he says. "So where people are coming through, and there's lots of smoke around the entrance, and it gets wafted into the building – well, that's not an ideal situation, and it's not consistent with the ban."

As ministers and politicians continue their ongoing anti-smoking drive, a battle akin to the later stages of the cold war grinds on, with a besieged British tobacco industry in the role of the Soviet Union, facing off against the strident anti-tobacco lobby. Every time the government moves on smokers, the industry issues the usual protests about freedom of choice and human beings' inalienable rights to basic pleasures, often joined by a small handful of militant smokers who see the government's attempts to wipe out their habit as the stuff of outrageous authoritarianism.

Over Christmas, David Hockney used his guest editorship of Radio 4's Today programme to inveigh yet again against the evils perpetrated by anti-smokers – and when he calls me from his home in Bridlington, he needs no encouragement to do so yet again. A somewhat chaotic 10-minute diatribe includes – rather rumly – the recent death of the Labour MP David Taylor, who played a key role in pushing the smoking ban through parliament. "I noticed that on Boxing Day, he went for a walk, and dropped dead aged 63," he says. "If I'd have dropped dead, they'd have said it was my lifestyle. Nobody mentioned his meanness of heart."

Somewhat predictably, he disagrees with Burnham's insistence that, with these new measures, the government is not trying to restrict smokers' freedom. "It has gone much, much too far," he says. "I'm really outraged now." He traces his ire to "this fucking little mean-spirited country: I see Martin Amis says it's third-rate, but it's 10th-rate now." He ends with: "There's an awful lot of smokers who live to ripe old ages. Now, why is that? Why? Obviously, genes trump everything. Some people shouldn't smoke, but some people are perfectly happy smoking. Picasso, Monet, Matisse – they all smoked, and they all lived to ripe old ages, with very generous lives. Didn't they? Yes, they did."

Beyond voices like his, there is a whole tangle of blogs, websites, and pressure groups (including the pub lobby, who chiefly blame the smoking ban for Britain's current epidemic of closures), and, of course, the massed power of the tobacco industry.

Christopher Ogden is the 56-year-old chief executive of the Tobacco Manufacturers Association: a former army major who says he was drawn to speaking up for the tobacco industry by a lifelong belief in "freedom of choice and freedom of speech and fair play". Needless to say, he is a smoker himself.

"Enough is enough," he tells me. "The government have introduced such a huge range of tobacco control measures that it's almost as if they're running out of ideas. We've had the ban on advertising and promotion, the raising of the age of sale from 16 to 18, the smoking ban, the graphic pictorial health warnings. Now we've got vending and display bans. What more do they want to do?"

The one chance of a reprieve, he suggests, lies in slightly more sceptical noises coming from the Tories: he would presumably be cheered by an off-the-record Tory spokesperson telling me that many of the Burnham plans are "pretty unenforceable" and "not evidence-based", though there again, the same source is at pains to tell me that his party "supports any action that will reduce smoking".

Speaking to advocates for the tobacco industry is always a grimly amusing business, as you listen to people somehow acknowledging that smoking is not exactly good for you, while trying to wriggle free of specifics. When I ask Ogden about smoking's links to lung cancer, he says: "It's not in my gift to say. I wouldn't want to attribute it to any particular illness. I'd just say the consensus is that there are health risks associated with it."

My mention of heart disease is similarly dodged. Even the connections between parental smoking and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (or cot death) get short shrift. "I don't have a position on that. I'm not privy enough to the science to give a comment."

But aren't the numbers of British smokers in inevitable decline? "Who knows?" he says. "I mean, fashions change, don't they? Society changes. Could smoking come back? I can't predict the future, but it's certainly a possibility, yes. Why not?"

How many a day does he smoke? "About a packet." And does he have moments of concern about his health? "Not at all." So does he think he'll smoke till he dies? "Oh, no. I shall probably give up at some point, as I have in the past. I've been through phases of my life where I haven't smoked for five years at a stretch. And I've decided to go back to it."

Why give up? Why not just carry on puffing away on his industry's output until he croaks? "Well, we're all going to go one day."

Over at Ash – Action On Smoking and Health – Ogden's opposite number is Deborah Arnott. She was fond of the occasional cigarette until 2003, when she decided to leave a job in TV production and devote her working life to the anti-smoking struggle. "I smoked Silk Cut," she says, "which probably shows my age."

Though she's in favour of going further than the government (she supports a complete ban on smoking in cars, whether they contain children or not), she says the new strategy deserves plenty of applause, chiefly because moves against smoking must be regularly renewed and extended, as proved by evidence from abroad. To pause is to run the risk of the numbers once again increasing: in Ireland, she tells me, the government successfully brought in smoke-free legislation, but "they didn't do anything else, and smoking started to creep back up again". Much the same thing apparently happened in Finland, where a similar failure to keep up the anti-smoking momentum meant that cigarette use stayed at much the same level and, among women, went up.

"There's a theory about this," she says, "which is that there's always an upward pressure on smoking. That's because it's still something that's attractive to young people, because it's still cool. If you talk to 8-, 9- or 10- year-olds, they'll be very anti-smoking. Puberty is when it happens: you're independent, you want to be cool, and you're not sure what do with your hands when you're talking to people of the opposite sex."

But how do you fight that? You can't ban pictures of Kate Moss smoking at awards ceremonies. "No, you can't. And that's difficult. But over generations, that will change. You need it to stop being seen as cool. And it's beginning to go that way. My children went to a comprehensive in central London – and actually, what amazed me was that they used to come home at night, and they didn't smell of smoke. It is becoming less cool."

Back in Westminster, Burnham suggests that in the early-to-mid 1980s, he was ahead of the generational curve. His experience of smoking, he assures me, is very limited indeed – because even as an impressionable youth, he found the supposed attractions of cigarettes baffling. "I had a couple under the slide in a park when I was 14, and that was it," he says. "I couldn't cope with it. I genuinely have never seen any upside from it. I think it's a unique activity in that sense."

Does he foresee a time when, in Britain at least, nobody smokes at all?

What he says next would surely chill your Hockneys and Ogdens to the marrow. "Honestly? I can imagine a day when people say, 'Why did it happen?' The costs, the health effects, what it does to your appearance, the smell . . . I can imagine people saying, 'Why did we ever do that?'"

And when might that happen? "Decades, I suppose. But I can imagine it coming." © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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