If a public house or restaurant etc wishes to allow smoking then why should it be banned from doing so? If it is avoided because of this policy, it will go out of business; let the market decide. I no longer invite people to my home who turn up their noses at the thought of smoking; if invited, they would usually accept, so where are their principles? Doctors (I am a retired GP) have seized on the statistics to condemn smoking because it fits in with their prejudice, from the sixties on there was a move against smoking because it was regarded as unwholsome, the statistics gave a seemingly objective reason for promoting the ban. I do not dispute that smoking causes morbidity among smokers, but do not believe in the ill effects of "passive smoking". Do tranqullisers help? Perhaps smoking is as effective and serves a useful purpose. I should rather smoke than take Valium, or whatever the drug of choice is today. When Branson banned smoking on his trains (on a personal whim, his minion informed me when I complained) I wrote to the Rail Users Council, and they said that they had contacted him and said that smokers should have provision made for them, and he had replied, I paraphrase, "My trains, my rules". How times have changed under His Holiness Anthony Blair!

Why is this idea important?

I and many others smoke. Recently HM Customs and Excise said that a vast amount of money was being lost to the Exchequer because of smuggling. If everyone did stop smoking then tax would have to rise (that is if people want a health service), so there is a dissonance; on the one hand encourage people to stop smoking and on the other, rely on the revenue which tobacco sales provide. I know of cases where people have gone to consult a Physician and on admitting to smoking, been told to come back when they have stopped. Meanwhile, we see increasing numbers of the obese.

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