“WALES is set to be the first country in the UK to extend its smoking ban to outdoor areas, with smoke-free areas expected to be in place in hospital grounds, school grounds, and playgrounds by summer 2019.”

As a hardened 70-year-old smoker beginning from the age of 11, I can half agree with this idea. The same as I agreed with smoke-free areas in pubs and restaurants. I can also go along with the many ideas of preventing young children (as I once was) from taking up this so stupid habit. I would certainly do all I could to help prevent my children or grandchildren from ever smoking. I would surely hope and pray that by their next generation, smoking will become extinct.

However, for those elderly like me who still remain, we went through the 50s, 60s and even 70s when smoking was surely encouraged: our idols in cinema smoked all the time, even the newly formed television had interviews with all smoking as they spoke. Visiting GPs smoked whilst they visited us and hospitals even had a smoking room which was often filled more with doctors and nurses.

So smoking back then was the norm. Now suddenly, smoking has become outlawed, even with twice annual high tax rises that practically makes it a penalty fine. Smokers are being continually banned from all social outlets, forced to either smoke outside during harsh weather or simply stay at home and never go out.

I sincerely believe that the habit of smoking should be discouraged for all our young future generation, but at the same time, allow us old-time smokers a bit of slack and not penalise or discriminate us so much. Some provision can be made for all by all.

In my young days during the 60s, we often rebelled over what society told us to do and so invariably did the opposite.

Is today's harsh ruling on smoking really going to solve the problem or just make more money for the government coffers?


Wellington Road, Bournemouth