Smoke signals

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Far from a protection for youngsters, a ban on smoking in cars is a sinister extension of central control of citizens’ ­private lives (Letters, 30 May). Unless ­followed by a similar ban on smoking in homes, it also makes no sense.

Not that sense applies to the proposal.

The incidence level of smoking in cars is low and almost certainly decreasing by public will. The whole intolerant attack on smokers by such agencies as Ash is characterised by manufactured evidence, spurious statistics and unconvincing research.

We are asked to believe that children are attracted to take up smoking by the appeal of bright packaging (disproved by Cancer Research UK’s own research). Another wildly inaccurate claim is that cigarettes are given “pride of place” in all our stores.

Possibly even worse, Cancer Research UK described tobacco as “being marketed to children like sweets”: a clear case of false evidence. The “elephant in the room” in all campaigning claims is the bold message “SMOKING KILLS”, which they never mention.

The idea that children would be desensitised to such a dire warning by packaging and display is truly laughable – if they ever saw it. The impression is given of helpless children gazing rapturously at such displays, but who has observed that?

Education and encouragement are the keys to the problem, as in the case of smokers now choosing to smoke outside their own homes.

Robert Dow

Tranent, East Lothian