Letter: Child smokers

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The article "A fag-end of a job" (Review, 9 October), concerning John Carlisle (a spokesman for the UK tobacco industry) would be amusing were it not that he is defending an industry whose survival over the longer term is due only to the gullibility of children. How many of us can name even one person who has taken up smoking, for the first time while in their adult years?

In response to his claim that smoking is not addictive, he might like to ponder upon the size of the market for aids to help people quit this "habit", as he puts it.

The tobacco industry has, for far too long, hidden behind the myth that adults take up smoking of their own free will, and they are therefore victims of their own gullibility. It is children who keep this industry alive. Once they are old enough and wise enough to realise how daft they've been, it is of course far too late for most of them; they're hooked.

RON P LEVY

Rayleigh, Essex

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