Letter: Smoke-screen

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The Independent Online
Sir: No doubt it was an attempt to provoke indignation from the po-faced anti-tobacco lobby, but does Virginia Ironside really have to inform readers that smoking is glamorous, thrilling and makes you slim? ("There's no smoke without pleasure", 24 July). Actually, it is all about addiction, sickness and miserable death - with some modest compensating chemical effects such as carbon monoxide poisoning and nicotine stimulation that pass for relaxation and pleasure respectively.

As The Independent's agony aunt, you might expect her to be in the agony- relief business, not cheerfully doling it out to those who would normally look to her as a sane voice in a nasty world.

CLIVE BATES

Director

Action on Smoking and Health

London W1

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