Heavy price

GEOFF Malham's 'Smoking is not illegal' letter in last week's Mercury is quite correct.

GEOFF Malham's 'Smoking is not illegal' letter in last week's Mercury is quite correct. However, I would like to comment on some of the points he raised, and make additional ones of my own.

Regarding his risible comments concerning the workload in A&E departments at hospitals, he says that many of those dealt with are affected by drink or drugs, and not smoking. However, many hospital beds are needed to accommodate smokers who have been operated on by thoracic surgeons. On recent visits to our local hospital it saddened me, as a former asthmatic, to see patients in wheelchairs smoking outside the hospital entrance.

Smokers pay a heavy price for their indulgence, and so do taxpayers. A huge amount of resources are needed in hospitals for the treatments required by those who indulge their habit. Many patients are there for serious reasons over which they have no control. They would dearly love to have a choice about inflicting suffering on themselves.

We all know that smoking is likely to shorten one's lifespan by 10 years. Finally, the comment that few smokers would want to inflict others with their habit is wrong. Smokers will smoke whenever and wherever they can.

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