DEMON DRINK: The writer says smoking should not share blame for death and disease. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA) Archive
I was never a heavy smoker, but smoked for 70 years and suddenly, for no specific reason, I stopped three years ago. Even smokers around me don’t make me want a cigarette, and I don’t use a plaster or electric cigarette.

Once again your paper of February 2 had half a page on anti-smoke and anti ads etc. However, I have never seen it categorically stated and proven that it has specifically killed a healthy person, and even if it has, it has only killed the smoker.

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People with a disease and pregnant women should automatically be told by their physician not to smoke.

And if positively smoke-associated death does occur, then it is only the smoker who is the loser, no one else. And at the time ads on cigarettes were abolished, manufacturers lost a fortune, but survived, as smokers still do exist, notwithstanding the fact it is not promoted anywhere.

However, alcohol could be an even bigger killer than smoke.

As said before, smoke kills the smoker, but alcohol is more often a killer of others; drivers kill as proven annually, families get killed or torn to pieces, children get beaten or killed. After a few drinks, often people are not clear in their mind, and their actions often irresponsible.

Some years ago there was an article in the paper from the government suggesting to stop ads; now they want to increase the age limit to 21 years, as if that would help. Any youngster who wants his booze will always find someone to get it for him, but stopping suggestions and promoting booze is bound to lower the urge of wanting to have a drink and join the drinkers.

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As for ads and incentives, what more do you want when they advertise - it all comes together with a Castle, and similar adds for Lion, Heineken etc. Years ago, the Springboks went to Australia and with it went a plane full of beer just to keep the boys lubricated.

I have previously suggested that booze ads should be eliminated, or at least brought under control by some authorisation, but as said before, it appears that the breweries and liquor board are too powerful to be touched, and it would appear that they are only concerned about the millions their excessive booze is bringing in, irrespective, and don’t care about the deaths, carnage, broken homes, etc, it is bringing.

Many support and sponsor sport, but it is the millions brought in by its excessive sales to the consumers.

* O van der Meulen, Camps Bay.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.

Cape Argus