Letter: Government ignores cigarette advertising's sad results

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Sir: Having been so shocked by Mr Mawhinney's pronouncements on cigarette advertising, I felt that Nicholas Timmins's excellent article summarising government attitudes was most enlightening (Section II; 'Tobacco advertising: a three-pipe problem', 10 February).

The fact that the Government continually fails to reduce the take-up rate among 11- to 15-year- olds demonstrates that children are being led to form their opinions at a younger age.

Whatever the efforts of parents to influence their children, it is difficult for families to resist the subtle brainwashing at work.

Personally I am quite willing to accept that this is a legal drug and I have no wish to deprive individuals from enjoying cigarettes or contributing to the public purse. However, as the law also provides that cigarettes can be sold only to those over the age of 16, it follows that 'pushers' should restrict their advertising to that audience and remove it from outside the school gates.

Yours faithfully,



Polak Fine Art Dealers

London, SW1

10 February