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While there had been a reduction in the number of people smoking since the 1980s the number of young people, and particularly young women, who smoke is increasing.
The decline in the number of older smokers is welcome but the number of women smokers between the ages of 18 and 24 is now greater than the number of male smokers of the same age.
It is wrong to concentrate solely on young people and children. We must examine the issues of addiction and of class.
As the medical profession advise again and again, cigarette smoking is the single biggest cause of cardiac disease and lung cancer.
If lung cancer is detected early enough it can be treated, but there is no screening programme for this condition which targets smokers, I am advised.
Some members of the medical profession are of the opinion that the diseases of smoking are self-inflicted and that sufferers from then are less entitled to treatment than others.
Would we tolerate any other group of citizens being poisoned in this way?
Change is required in the way we view this high-risk group of people who require screening, treatment and help to overcome their addiction. We need to adopt a different strategy: we need to adopt a humane and people centred approach to ascertain what will work rather than ban advertising.
We need to ensure children under the age of 18 are unable to access cigarettes.
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