Page last updated at 15:50 GMT, Friday, 12 June 2009 16:50 UK

US smoking curbs: Readers react

Woman smoking
Around 20% of the US population are smokers

The US Senate has given its support to a bill giving the government far-reaching new powers to impose restrictions on American smokers.

If approved by Congress, the bill will permit nicotine levels in cigarettes to be limited and will curtail tobacco advertising.

Here, smoking and non-smoking readers in the US react to the move.


I smoked as a teenager and young adult, but that was at a time (ten years ago) when people could still smoke indoors in my city. The indoor smoking ban in Seattle has done a great deal to curb the impulse to smoke by making it more difficult to do it socially. I am in favour of any other changes that can be made to get people to stop smoking, and keep others from starting. I think the best interventions are ones that make smoking less socially acceptable.
A Watts, Seattle, USA

I fully support this bill. Smoking is a dangerous habit that is killing people not only here but all over the world. I formerly was a smoker for 25 years and quitting was the hardest thing I ever did. If nicotine levels are lowered maybe it will help others to quit.
Stirling Davenport, Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

I am a smoker. If there is nothing else contained in this bill that hasn't been disclosed in this article, I believe it's just fine. But the over-taxation and forced limitations imposed on smokers is absolutely ridiculous and I condemn those laws.
Glenn Gacek, Keavy, KY, USA

I think it's great and long overdue. Next we should target the pharmaceutical companies to curtail advertising and costs. It's up to doctors to prescribe meds, not the advertising to tell you what to take.
Rob, Seattle, USA

I feel that any effort to stop people from starting smoking is the best way to do things, because it is so hard for people to quit. I am not a smoker myself, but I have known people who smoke or have smoked, and they say that it is the hardest thing to do, to quit smoking.

It sounds like this bill will also help people who do smoke quit because there won't be as much nicotine in them, so people won't get as addicted to them. It sounds like this bill will be a step in the direction to get America smoke-free, and I totally agree with that.
Stephanie S, Lynnwood, WA, USA

It's terrific. My husband died of emphysema after years spent trying to breathe
Patricia A Perreault, Port Townsend, WA, USA

This type of action is long overdue. The fact that 440,000 people die from smoking each year is a tragedy and most of all an expense that is so unnecessary. I look forward to the vote. Now how do we go after the 20% that still want to smoke?
Ron Haugland, Crystal Bay, NV, USA

It's terrific. My husband died of emphysema after years spent trying to breathe. His illness was very costly for our health care system. Thank God for Medicare. Tobacco companies grow, produce and profit from selling a lethal product. Whatever profits they make should be taxed at ninety per cent with all the money going directly into our healthcare system. Thanks for letting me speak out on this.
Patricia A Perreault, Port Townsend, WA, USA

I would support the total ban of tobacco products. They have no positive use for anything. Not only do they harm individuals, but they destroy lives. The pollutants contaminate everything they come in contact with. It took 50 years for a significant change. Unbelievable. I have smoked for 45 years.
Richard Macfalter, Sarasota, USA

I am a non-smoker living in the US. I do support curbs on smoking although I know it makes it unpleasant for smokers. My mother's family of five siblings lived significantly different life spans in direct correlation to their smoking habits. The heavy smokers died of cancer much earlier in life.
Irene Stover, Middletown, USA

I'm an occasional smoker (one or two cigars a month). I believe this should have been done long ago, because the companies have abused the public and cannot be trusted. However I also believe the government goes too far trying to proptect us from ourselves, by completely banning smoking in many locations and raising the taxes. This will not stop people from smoking it only makes people with low incomes go without other things and most kids smoke from peer pressure not ads.
Jay Hamby, Charlestown, USA


The US federal government is sticking its nose where it does not belong. Its purpose has been forgotten.
Rich, Colorado Springs, USA

I am a non-smoker, but I think this is way out of line. The federal government has no business in people's business. We in the US are no longer free.
Matt, Houston, Texas, USA

I am a woman and I do not smoke but I used to and I think it is ridiculous for the government to regulate the smoking industry to this extent. Pretty soon we will be a communist country instead of a democracy. The government sure is taking over enough.
Marty, Haltom City, USA

I smoke, the government has no right to force me to quit
Michael Connolly, Victorville, USA

I'd like to start by saying that I am a non-smoker and an asthmatic. With all this, I must say that I strongly oppose this bill. It is undeniable that the inhalation of carbon monoxide, found in any type of smoke, is adverse to health. This clearly affects the people standing around those smoking.

However, there are several other products on the market that emit CO and several other chemicals causing harm to those who inhale them. These products include: cars, firewood, energy plants, manufacturing facilities, waste treatment facilities, construction materials, and many more. What's next? We put restrictions on flavouring and advertising cheese to curb heart disease in the US?
Mac Kelly, Columbus, Ohio, USA

I believe the government should stay out of people's private lives.
Paula Hobson, Texas, USA

This is just another step in the government's intervention into people's so called "freedom". The next step will be to lower limits on food stuffs, alcohol consumption, gasoline usage, travel, and eventually total control of every citizen who wishes to stay on the right side of the law. All the while continuing to spend more, waste more, give more away and generally take away everything from working American folk. I have lived here in the USA for five years and I see the same things happening in most Western countries, just where will it all end?
Alan Walker, Topeka, Kansas, USA

This is a joke, everyone who has ever smoked knows the outcome of limiting nicotine in cigarettes. You smoke more!
Peter, Greenville, USA

Yes, I have been a smoker for 20 years. It's another law in my opinion for the government to dictate to the American people of this wonderful free country of ours what we can and cannot do. I do agree however with preventing underage smoking. It's like the seatbelt law, we know not wearing a seatbelt could be dangerous to our health, you just don't need the state or the government to enforce it. It still should be our choice.
Markus, Florida, USA

I resent all government intrusion into my personal life. I smoke and I enjoy it. Gandolph and all the Hobbits smoked. Churchill smoked, CS Lewis smoked, JRR Tolkin smoked, I smoke, the government has no right to force me to quit.
Michael Connolly, Victorville, USA

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