Orange's marketeers are claiming that people who smoke, banished to the fringes of society (or 'the beer garden') by the recent smoking ban, are filling the lonely, lung-denting minutes by 'smexting'.

What's smexting? I hear you desperately try not to ask. Er, it's something called SMS text messaging - you may have heard of it. But smexting occurs specifically on a fag break, you see.

Orange reckons that a recent, relatively minor increase in the number of text messages being sent can be directly attributed to the smoking ban that came in throughout England on July 1.

According to Orange, in the fortnight immediately after the ban, texting across Orange's network increased by 7.5 million texts. Given the 17 million users on its network, that's not a particularly significant increase. And Orange isn't giving out year-on-year figures.

And although it sounds plausible that people are texting more because they are feeling lonely puffing on a tab, I'd humbly suggest that it's possible there are other factors involved. (And anyway, in my experience when the smokers go out for a fag, everyone else in the group goes out with them. No-one wants to sit on their own in a pub or restaurant.)

Still, it's August and there's no real news around, so Orange's 'creatives' are going to try to crowbar a(nother) horrible term into our already over-stuffed lexicon in the hope of getting some publicity in the tawdry tabloids. The smossers.