Letter: why quit smoking?

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I refer to your article in the Chad by Andy Done-Johnson.

This concerted effort to stop us all smoking is self defeating. 
I have smoked for almost 50 years and I cannot see myself stopping now.

The reasons for this are as follows:-

1. Around 75% of the cost of a packet of cigarettes is tax. At around £7 a packet the tax take is therefore around £5.40p. If I stop smoking my four or five packs each week, I deprive the Treasury of at least £20 which

could be used to fund the NHS. Where is this money to come from?

Income tax rises? Surely not. V.A.T. increases? Surely not, but where else can you find a captive audience to willingly pay more tax if the number of smokers continues to decline? I estimate 100,000 smokers of four packs a week quitting equals £2 MILLION pounds a week in lost revenue.

2. It is a proven fact that smokers do not live as long as non-smokers. Given that we pay far more in tax than non-smokers, how can we be a drain on the NHS? We are only likely to need it for a short time, not dragging on for years with Altzheimer’s disease, dementia or needing to be in a care home for years.

3. The pension bill for the State is likely to rise from the current £98 BILLION this year to £179 BILLION in 20 years time (source, Daily Mail, 8/10/14, page 9). 
This is because of people living longer. Are smokers not being extremely selfless in shortening their own life expectancy so that others can benefit? 
In short, this witch hunt against smokers should be called off as should the campaign against drinkers for similar reasons.
We do not force anyone to join in, we just ask for a bit of respect for our choice.
As it is still not illegal to smoke in this country, until primary legislation is brought in to ban it, one has to suspect that even the Government realises that it is not an option.


Layton Avenue,