Letter: Smoke signals

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Cayte Williams is quite wrong ("Irritations of modern life", 21 October). As one who has never smoked, I am not afraid of "a slow, painful death" if I sit next to a smoker. I just find it very unpleasant indeed to be compelled to breathe tobacco smoke and very irritating to find my own clothes and hair giving off the same sour reek as those of the smoker.

I am not remotely concerned about any danger to my own health. The health of the smoker is, of course, his or her own affair. I do, however, confess to feeling a little sorry for the smoker's children, since they have no choice in the matter and the threats to their health are well proven.

The arguments routinely used by smokers in defence of their habit are entirely predictable and mainly based on fallacies of their own concoction about the attitudes of non-smokers - including our supposed "hysteria" about passive smoking. Because they like, or need, to smoke, they seem to be quite unable or unwilling to face the fact that their habit is seriously unpleasant for the people around them.

For most of my adult life smokers have had it all their own way and the rest of us just had to put up with it. Now that the tables are turning, they should give up their childish abuse of the non-smoking majority and accept that they cannot continue to inflict their addiction on the rest of us wherever and whenever they choose.

JANET RUSSELL

Maldon, Essex

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