By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Oct 17, 2011 at 4:21 PM

I used to be a disobedient smoker.

I was a two pack a day guy, except on good days (which meant I was out until bar time) when I'd climb to almost three packs.

And I smoked everywhere. I smoked in libraries and at movies, my workplace and other people's workplace, inside and outside, stadiums and arenas, shopping malls and small retail shops. Once, I even smoked in a hospital room where oxygen tubes were running. And I was the patient.

Then I quit. One day, about seven years ago, I woke up, sick of my wife nagging me, crushed a pack of butts and never smoked again. A good decision.

But lately, I've been wondering where do people go to smoke?  I mean, I know where you can't smoke. Bars, clubs and restaurants and all kinds of common spaces. But if you're a smoker, where can you light up?

Is a car repair garage okay, or a locksmith shop or an old fashioned hardware store? Can you smoke in your own apartment, even if you live in a building with other apartments?

I assume you can still smoke in your own car since I see so many idiots throw their butts out the window onto the ground. But does Amtrak have a smoking car on its train to Chicago?

I worked in a building years ago where the windows were sealed. The big boss came in one day with a sharp screwdriver. We shut my office door and ripped the sealant out of the windows so we could open it up and smoke. He and I sat in chairs, next to the window, puffing away.

I wonder whether something like that is even possible today?  I doubt it, but it makes me wonder why anyone still smokes?

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.