A smokescreen over smoking

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1074

Sir,

Mr. Arnone (PM 21/2) has puffed a lot of smoke in an attempt to obfuscate the smoking debate. There are two quite separate matters: the adverse effect on health and the need for ordinary people to be protected from the foul stink and danger of second hand smoke.

Since we cannot legally defend ourselves against the assault by smokers, we need the protection of the law. This would not be necessary if smokers were considerate, but they are not. No decent person, for example, would break wind in a restaurant, bus or public place but smokers will puff their revolting muck in these place all the time if not prevented by law and even then they continue to upset and harm people with their filthy practice by defying the law.

Regarding the health side of the issue; we have known for more that half a century that all smoke and combustion products (including motor vehicle exhaust) can cause cancer. There is nothing new here at all. Smoking, second hand and third hand smoke are all proven beyond any doubt to be dangerous. More than a hundred different conditions including even genetic changes are now known to be associated with smoking. It is highly irresponsible to claim that second hand smoke has never killed anyone. Even if this were true it ignores the untold harm, disease and misery caused by second hand smoke.

Michael Nightingale