For more than a decade I have been harbouring a controversial view that could get me extradited from my own community, writes Will Ackermann.
I am talking, of course, about the smoking community.
Our people have gone through a terrible, terrible history, one permanently stained by countless horrible deaths.
As a result, we have developed a strong sense of resolve and an unrivalled ability to make light of our current situation, as society continues to shun us, pushing us into ever smaller recesses away from the purer folk.
But I have something I have to get off my chest (before it collapses), even though I know it could well cause me to be shunned by my own people.
It has been my considered view for some time now that, as a smoker, if I get lung or throat cancer one day, I should be relegated to the bottom of the NHS list for treatment, so that other, more virtuous, patients may be given priority.
In fact, I believe there is a real argument to be made that I should not receive taxpayer funded medical help at all in those circumstances.
Smoking is, after all, a choice. If I were willing to put in the effort, I could quit, but I enjoy it too much. Stupid, I know, but that’s the decision I’ve made for the time being, and I probably deserve whatever is coming to me as a result.
A view that is not controversial, however, is that exactly the same argument applies to overweight people and gastric bands.
It seems widely accepted, at least from conversations I have been a part of, that ‘if you want to lose weight, just drop the Doritos and pick up a dumbbell’.
I have to say I agree. And I speak as someone who could stand to lose a few pounds.
But again, I just enjoy pineapple pizza too much. And I don’t look good in jogging shorts because of my fat thighs.
So it was frustrating for me to see teenagers receiving expensive treatment at an obesity boot camp, all at the expense of their local authorities.
Last night’s Tonight programme on ITV, titled The Unhealthy Generation, followed youngsters battling the biscuits and trying to shed some weight.
The cost of keeping each individual at the camp in Bradford for six weeks was around £5,000, while others who were dangerously obese were considering gastric band operations to shrink their stomachs, thereby doing the work for them.
Perhaps I am being too harsh though. These were only kids, many in their early teens. Maybe we should all be allowed to make stupid mistakes when we’re young.
Maybe it is the parents’ fault.
The stories were so similar to one another that at one point I thought my TV was playing up, repeating the same clip on a loop.
“I’ve always been a little big, ever since I can remember,” one of the kids would say.
Then the mother would jump in with: “We try to stop him eating unhealthy snacks, but there’s nothing we can do.”
Here’s an idea: don’t buy them anymore. The kid’s 13. If you don’t stock Ben & Jerry’s in the freezer, he’s not going to get it anywhere else.
British children are among the fattest in Europe and this generation could be the first to die before its parents.
But for adults, at least, so long as it’s about choice, that’s all there is to it.
I’ve just polished off a lamb balti and a can of Coke. I fancy a cigarette.