Letter: Smoke stopper

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The Independent Online
Sir: Doctors refusing to treat patients who smoke are not breaking new ground. When my father was diagnosed as having badly constricted arteries in 1971 his GP asked if he wanted to be put forward for a new type of operation, later to be described as a bypass operation, being pioneered at Papworth Hospital. As it was that or death within six months, my father readily agreed. The doctor immediately confiscated the packet of cigarettes in his pocket, told him he was now a non-smoker and that if he smoked one more cigarette, the offer of surgery would be withdrawn.

My father never smoked again in the extra 16 years of life the operation gave him.

Yours faithfully,

PAUL S. LYONS

London, NW1

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