Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Smoking Still a potent Threat say RCP
Today is the 50 years anniversary of the historic report which definitively proved smoking causes cancer, published by the Royal College Physicians. In those days 70% of men smoked and 43% women. You could not enter a cinema, pub or restaurant without encountering a dense fog of tabacco smoke which made the eyes smart and the lungs hurt. I even recall smoking in university seminars, without asking permission: we all thought we had a right to make other people's lives less pleasant.
Since then we've had the ban on smokingin places of work which has transformed going out into a much more pleasant experience. I was astonished at how easily this law was accpeted and applied all over the country. I was sure rebellious groups of aggressive young males would just refuse to recognise the law's vailidity. No doubt making the law enforceable by landlords was the means whereby it gained its success. But what a favour our government did us by that law and what a blow it dealt to those who insist on their right to inflict their habit on the rest of us. Throughout the country we all now recognise that the nation has accepted smoking is really bad for you, and our kids and everyone else.
But still it continues say the RCP with over a fifth of us still enslaved by nictine and is still 'the UK's biggest cause of avoidable early death', according to Dr Mike Knapton of the british heart Foundation. He wants to see more restrictions on advertising with plain packaging and bans on smoking in cars when children are present. People who want to maintain their practice of committing suicide are welcome to doso but they must not be allowed to inflict their unaknoweldged death wish on the rest of us, particularly children who have no say in the matter.
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