Letter: Smoke of battle

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The Independent Online
Smoke of battle

Sir: With all the brouhaha surrounding tobacco sponsorship of Formula One, it is too easy to forget that what is important is whether or not tobacco sponsorship of sport does encourage people to smoke.

With me, it certainly did. Aged 10, 11 or 12, I was very keen to smoke, and only because I was obsessed by Formula One. The only brands I wanted to smoke were JPS and Marlboro. JPS because I was seduced by the glossy black Lotus cars with the gold logos, and Marlboro because in 1976 James Hunt, driving the red and white Marlboro McLaren, was the ultimate Boy's Own hero.

It was inevitable then, that when I first had the opportunity to smoke, which was when I went away to boarding school, I took to it like a duck to water, and only managed to stop ten years later.

PIERS TAYLOR

Oaksey, Wiltshire

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