Letter: What's stylish in smoking yourself to death?

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The Independent Online
There is absolutely nothing glamorous or stylish about ever-increasing shortness of breath or lungfuls of purulent phlegm ("A whiff of revolution in the air", Real Life, 1 December).

I run stop-smoking groups within a hospital, where more than 50 per cent of those attending have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (bronchitis and emphysema). Those who attend the groups battle with a powerful addiction that robs them of health, wealth and self-esteem. Addiction to nicotine sets in after only four or five cigarettes and most smokers will die smokers, many prematurely, from smoking-related diseases.

Patricia MacDonald

Twickenham, Middlesex