• People smoke for a variety of reasons, in varying ways and in varying degrees of intensity.

  • For many it is a profoundly pleasurable social activity.

  • For many it helps them cope with the stress and frustration of daily schedules and promotes relaxation and calm.

  • For many it helps them to take a step back from things, clarify thought processes and see their way through otherwise impenetrable issues.

  • It can also provide support for more serious mental stresses - Many of the more perceptive in the medical profession believe that the majority of smokers are "self-medicating".

  • Drinking and smoking together is known to be particularly pleasurable, and has been practised for generations. It is part of our collective culture and supports social cohesion.

  • Contrary to what the anti-smoking lobby would have people believe, many do not want to give up smoking, they enjoy it and it is part of their daily lives (Only 30% of smokers actually try to give it up - that implies 70% want to continue...)

    Understanding and accepting the above reasons, the medical profession (at least those not wedded to anti-smoking hysteria) would be better able to support smokers by providing them with advice to REDUCE smoking, and information on how to REDUCE THE ASSOCIATED RISKS, rather than pandering to the anti-smoking rhetoric that only complete cessation is acceptable.

    The old anti-smoking industry advice to "just quit" isn't working, and will never work against those who really enjoy smoking and gain intense pleasure and comfort from it.

    The smoking ban is counter-productive and contributes to the stubbornness of smokers in not attempting to reduce consumption when faced with such blatant persecution.

    Do the anti-smokers really feel their personal prejudice against the smell of tobacco smoke warrants the second hand smoke hysteria they have promoted in many people who cannot evaluate the science for themselves? Can it justify the accumulated distress of 10 million or so people and countless businesses?

    Is it FAIR that one lifestyle view is arrogantly imposed on another when options for providing the freedom of choice to both groups are readily available - as allowed by the legislation of many other EU countries?

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** Page last updated April 2010 **