The Last Gasp

Issue section: 

What Andrew Stone ignores in his discussion of the proposed smoking ban ('The Drag Factor', December SR) is the fact that many of us enjoy smoking and do not want to give it up.

While this ban will give the illusion of protecting workers' rights, you should remember that us smokers are workers too. I work in a bar, and I'm not looking forward to the ban at all.

Is smoking expensive? Yes, but only because of the enormous taxation levelled. Is it addictive? For some people yes, but then so is alcohol. Are there health risks? Yes, but someone who smokes 60 a day is in a very different position to those of us who smoke less than five a day.

While the tobacco industry does make large profits, they are nothing compared with that of the pharmaceutical industry, which would do well out of any smoking ban due to increased sales of nicotine patches, inhalators and similar items. Apart from the pharmaceutical industry, the other biggest supporter of the smoking ban is the British Medical Association, an organisation that lobbied against setting up the NHS and calls for the banning of boxing.

Socialists often point out how hypocritical it is to allow the sale of tobacco while imprisoning cannabis users, but the opposite would be no better.

Randall Patrick
By email