Letter: When, and when not, to smoke

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The Independent Online
Sir: Martin Jarvis's attacks ("Dear Philip Morris", 13 June) on our company and its product ignore several facts.

There are 97 million smokers in the EU (15 million in the UK). UK smokers pay over pounds 10bn in cigarette taxes each year, respect the laws and rules on when and where they can smoke, and are regularly bombarded with information on risks associated with smoking. They clearly do not, as Mr Jarvis claims, light up whenever and wherever they want.

Mr Jarvis's claims about environmental tobacco smoke lack rigorous scientific support. The Environmental Protection Agency study on which the claims are based has been challenged in court and criticised by the US Congressional Research Service.

Reasonable smoking policies are being worked out every day by thousands of businesses and their employees and unions, and by hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars and their customers.

Government attempts to regulate smoking, and other aspects of daily life, down to the finest details are unnecessary, misguided and dangerous.

Yours faithfully,

DAVID I. GREENBERG

Vice President, Corporate Affairs

Philip Morris EU Region

Brussels

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