Letter: The courage to just say no

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WILLIAM LEITH ('Reg on advertising: 'You can't get any worse than me' ', 29 November) eloquently and intelligently analyses the current advertising campaign being waged by Imperial Tobacco to promote Embassy Regal cigarettes. This campaign centres around the low-life character Reg and has received an award from the advertising industry. This is good news for Imperial Tobacco but bad news for recruited smokers. Cigarettes will kill one in three regular customers.

As William Leith points out, the tobacco industry, the advertising industry and the Department of Health are all perfectly aware that tobacco advertising increases consumption and is therefore responsible for much misery and death. The newspaper industry also knows the facts. Mr Leith's article is on page 50 of the Review; pages 46 and 47 are devoted to a double-page tobacco advert.

Which newspaper will eventually have the courage to put the future health of our children above immediate financial gain? It would be impressive if your newspaper could be truly independent and lead the way.

John Moxham

Professor of Respiratory Medicine

King's College Hospital

London SE5