C&C Group chief executive Maurice Pratt believes next year’s smoking ban could be good news for the amorous at heart. The Irish, which banned smoking in pubs and other public places two years ago, quickly took to “smirking”. For the uninitiated, this means nipping outside pubs to smoke and flirt. The Magners cider boss is so confident the ban will bring more spark to the love lives of the reticent English that he is betting a new word will make it into the dictionary. Financial Times 16/12/06 page 18 (Mudlark)