Over the years my workplace has become more and more hostile to smokers. Smokers are definitely in the minority around here but there are nonetheless a fair number of them around here. Seven or eight years ago there used to be one break room in the building where people could smoke while drinking their coffee. Then during one of the sessions of musical chairs that occurs periodically around here, they decreed that there would be no more smoking in any of the buildings here. After that you could regularly find groups of smokers congregating outside the doors to the building, several times a day. This occurred year round, rain or shine. Then last fall during enrollment for benefits this year, it was announced that effective January 1, 2006 anyone using tobacco products would have to pay an additional $475 a year for health insurance. Then this spring it was announced, that effective May 1, there would be no smoking allowed anywhere on company property. So now you can witness smokers trekking across the parking lot to stand over behind the Big Lots store or the Sports Authority. So far the weather has mostly been OK but that sure won’t be fun come January. I generally don’t have much sympathy for smokers, but it really is pretty pathetic to see people huddled in the rain and cold just to get a hit of nicotine.