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Another impact on our freedom

Our correspondent writes ...

There must be few people who now doubt that smoking is bad for you, even smokers, so it is no surprise that those who seem to represent only small portion portion of the electorate choose to introduce a blanket smoking ban affecting the whole electorate in all workplaces and public places, including working men's clubs, but excluding the smoking rooms at Westminster.

So the freedom of the individual is curtailed even further by this dreadful Labour government and no doubt later legislation will ban smoking in houses, back gardens, streets and beaches. Indeed, there was an attempt some years back to ban smoking on the beach in Bournemouth. If this had succeeded at the time, I was convinced any remaining traces of smoke in the atmosphere would have been blamed on Brighton since this evil cloud of death could presumably be carried along the coastline by an easterly wind, perhaps even as far as Torquay, or Land's End ... or Boston, Massachusetts!

As a smoker myself, I have no objection to smoke-free restaurants because I realise it might be unpleasant for non-smoking diners. If I get really desperate for a fag after my meal, I can always go outside. The same applies to other contained rooms where the majority of occupants are non-smokers. In return, I would like to think that excessive drinkers - now encouraged by recent government legislation - do not piss in the street or up alleyways. But they do ... more now than in the past.

It took a long time to convince me that passive smoking was a real danger because my father and grandfather were both smokers who lived to be 86 and 94 respectively and did not die of smoking-related illnesses. They had both had enough of life after their spouses died and were not unduly saddened about departing this earth. God only knows how much more cigarette smoke they might have forced into their lungs if they had still been around when the Blair dictatorship started telling us how to live our lives!

I am still not truly convinced that tobacco smoke should bear total responsibility for shortening our lives. Years ago, I attended a lecture given by a professor of carcinogenics who was specifically asked the question about dangers from cigarettes. His reply was that smoke from a garden bonfire was 300 times as dangerous. So what about factory chimneys that constantly pour smoke into our environment? What is the government going to do about them? They must be a major part of the overall problem.

The answer is that they will do nothing because that kind of smoke comes from revenue-producing commercial concerns and no-one in power wants to act against companies who may potentially have places on their boards for MPs. For similar reasons, parliament will never introduce an outright ban on the sale of cigarettes because the exchequer do very nicely from the tax revenue smoke generates.

If MPs were really genuine about us giving up the weed, they would issue free nicotine patches to all smokers, or pay for unlimited visits to hypnotherapists and acupuncturists. But they won't.

I recently quit smoking for ten weeks and felt quite proud of myself. But, to be honest, the only real benefit was that my cough cleared up. On the downside, I ate excessively, put on unwanted weight, fell prey to every germ in the atmosphere, couldn't sleep at night, couldn't stay awake during the day and, worst of all, lost all my powers of concentration. For the benefit of my web visitors, I knew I had to start again - in a small way to start with ... now totally out of control but at least allowing me to continue my fight against corruption.

Deep down, I would like to think I could stop again without the disadvantages I experienced during my recent smoke-free period but I have this dreadful fear that I may end up as an really old man struggling to pay ever-increasing council taxes from a pathetic pension that Gordon Brown has rendered even more worthless than it was before he took over the country's finances. What could be worse than sitting in some retirement prison being too ga-ga to appreciate the benefit of a new edict from a government struggling to cope with the costs of an aged population - a recommendation that smoking was in fact good for you.

Perhaps I will just aim for my three-score-years-and-ten and die happy with the epitaph on my tombstone reading: He quit smoking at last!

Visitors' Comments

Caroline S, Kettering writes:

I couldn't have put it better myself!!!

Helen B writes:

Dear Mike,

Alas! Too late with the smoking advice. Iíve been puffing away solid for almost as long as yourself. Sixteen years old, I recall, shortly after leaving school and starting my first job. But I agree with what you say. Smoking is our choice and we pay handsomely in taxes for the privilege.

If the government had wished to stop people smoking surely it would have been quite simple just to make smoking totally illegal? Yet the smoking ban has nothing to do with concerns about the nationís health. Itís just another insidious little law designed towards the stateís control over our every move.

Did Hitler not introduce a smoking ban in the early 30s? I rather think he did and also went out of his way to associate smoking with Jews. Indeed so many of the things that are happening today remind me of 20th century despotic practice.

I am very sorry to hear of your heart condition. I have lots of ailments that my doctor blames on smoking. But I believe that most of my ills are genetic and that I would have acquired them anyway, even supposing I had never put a fag near my lips. When doctors are strapped for answers they need Ďthingsí to blame. The more I learn about medics, the more I realise how little they really know.

I am certain that your positive thinking will see you on to a grand old age. I firmly believe that it is a demoralised mind that brings on physical illness, which is why I suspect that so many people pass away shortly after retiring. Whereas those with lots of interests and dynamic minds tend to thrive to the point n. My 98 year old uncle is a fine example of this theory. He still reads his papers every day and takes a serious interest in politics and current affairs. After all - the brain controls the body. Look after the brain and the body will do as it is told.

I am delighted to have made your acquaintance.

TR, Woking writes:

I have smoked now for 50 years, quit a couple of times. This seems to work. If you can't or don't want to quit smoking but want to keep living, try this. Nothing in it for me, this is just one of many on the market. Google esmoking if you like.

"Many men stumble across the truth ... but most manage to pick themselves up and continue as if nothing had happened."

Winston S Churchill

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