Entitled to advertise

THOUGH I am a non-smoker, I sympathise with the plight of Robert Fletcher (of the Tobacco Institute of Hong Kong) and his lonely battle to equate the freedom to advertise a product that kills and the freedom of expression.

The tobacco industry should have the right to advertise its lethal product, provided that the message that smoking kills is clearly conveyed. And I do not care if they chain-smoke in their private premises. After all, China has found smoking an effective way of keeping its population in control. What I find intolerable is the selfish conduct of quite a few smokers who feel absolutely at ease in poisoning the air when hapless non-smokers are nearby. What I find disgusting is the subtle elevation of smokers' right to indulge themselves in their lethal habit to one which virtually grants them a licence to kill when and where they wish with impunity.

While I would fight for the right of people like Mr Fletcher to persuade others to smoke, I hope the Government will legislate soon to ban smoking in all public areas.