Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Smoking Kills ( and That's a Fact

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Smoking Kills ( and That's a Fact

Article excerpt

Your anonymous correspondent who describes the Government's smoking ban as `over the top' (Your Shout, Thursday, April 27) seems content to put profit before people's lives. Thankfully the Government is more responsible than that.

Smoking kills ( fact. Second-hand smoke kills by increasing the risk of suffering heart disease and lung cancer and numerous other conditions. It kills 35 North East workers and up to 200 citizens every year.

Let's take your correspondent's arguments one by one. First, smoking rooms in pubs and clubs. They don't work. Bar workers and cleaners will still be exposed to second-hand smoke ( and you can't contain smoke within a room. It drifts ( just like urinating in a swimming pool.

What about targeting children? The Government and health professionals do. The new legislation will increase the legal age of purchase to 18. Besides, the best way to stop young people from smoking is for it to become less socially acceptable with fewer adults smoking in the first place. Perhaps your correspondent's anger should be turned on tobacco companies who add things like honey and other flavourings to make cigarettes more palatable to children.

Finally, what about profits in pubs and clubs? In New York takings went up and more people were employed after the ban. Ireland is showing the same trend and the early signs in Scotland are promising.

Perhaps your anonymous correspondent should be more concerned about the excessive profits made by the tobacco companies, companies which rely on getting children hooked on their products both here in the North East and in some of the world's most poor and deprived countries.

AILSA RUTTER, Director, Fresh, Campaign for a Smoke Free North East.

Labour falls woefully short

THERE is an old saying that it is the victors who write the history books. The Labour Party in Newcastle is trying to buck this trend since its defeat in 2004, and its policy unveiling (after a number of voters in the city will already have voted by post) is only another example of this.

Unlike many of the Chron's readers, I've heard the Labour Party call, at the Budget meeting of the City Council, the Lib Dems the "Tories in disguise". …

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