Page last updated at 12:45 GMT, Monday, 1 February 2010

Smoking plan: Your views

Man smoking

A plan to halve the number of smokers in England over the next 10 years has been unveiled by ministers.

Measures being considered include removing branding from packets and banning cigarette vending machines.

Smokers' lobby group Forest criticised the proposals for eroding people's ability to make lifestyle choices.

BBC News website readers have been sending their reaction to the proposed plans:


The anti-smoking legislation has gone too far as it is, with no decrease in the number of smokers since the ban. The Labour government need to stop kicking smokers, as all they will do is dig their heels in, and what little support there is for the ban will evaporate completely. They should instead be looking at ways of having smoking areas in pubs and clubs, as in their last election manifesto. This was supported by a large majority of voters in a recent Conservative web survey.
John, West Yorkshire

All this is fine, but what is the government doing to help with alcohol abuse? Surely there are thousands of deaths due to alcohol abuse as well. Is it all an issue of cost effectiveness? Smoking costs the NHS more hence it needs to be addressed? What if it cost the NHS nothing? Would these bills even exist?
Irene, Manchester

Have they ever considered that some of us actually want to smoke? Me and most of my friends smoke. We do so optionally and we are aware it can damage our health but we are still happy to smoke.
Marcus Bailey, Scunthorpe

This is a dangerous and slippery road to go down, to pin point an area of society and reduce their freedoms. It is inevitable that in the end this will be abused and applied to other areas of society too. At what point do we stop and say 'that's enough'?
Gee, Cumbria

Most of the decline in the past decade was prior to the ban, since when the rate has fallen from 23 to 21%. If banning smoking in all non-residential buildings and ruining millions of smokers' social lives, results in such a small fall, it is very unlikely these measures will make much difference.
Jon, Manchester

What is this obsession with forcing people to live longer? Most people who die from smoking related diseases are beyond the reproductive period in their lives. Many of them are no longer in wealth generating employment. If they choose to do something which is likely to reduce life expectancy what business is it of the government?
DE, Bristol

All this is doing is not helping me to quit as I will not be dictated too in this manner. Personal choice and freedom are more important than the nanny state.
Mike Allen, Preston, Lancashire

Every time there is a massive anti-smoking campaign, the only figures that tend to be quoted are about how much it costs the NHS to care for smokers. It is also necessary to say how much revenue the draconian taxes on cigarettes bring the NHS. It is only then that one can judge whether the £2.7 billion that is spent comes from everyone's taxes, or if it comes mostly from smokers.
Ivan P, London


People will always resent decisions made by the government, for the people's benefit, that they think takes away some of their own choice. However the reality is this choice is whether or not to inhale 12,000 toxins and seriously increase your chance of hundreds of illnesses and similarly increase the likelihood for those around. Whatever approach you take, there is no justifiable ground for the government allowing a habit that is solely financially, socially and health destructive. It is surprising it has taken them this long to develop the confidence necessary to make a definitive ruling on smoking.
JP, Aberdeen

Whatever restrictions are imposed a ban on smoking in cars or rooms with children present should be introduced immediately- with draconian powers to enforce it. Virtually everybody agrees the legislation should not be necessary- but some people will endanger others for their own selfish reasons.
Peter Clark, Hilton, Cambs

If cigarettes were a new product today and someone wanted to get a licence to sell a product that caused so many health problems they wouldn't be allowed to. So why not do a proper job and stop their sale altogether.
Phil Flannery, Sheffield

I wholly support all plans to eradicate smoking. I am an ex smoker, and I'm sick of getting a mouthful of smoke each time I exit a supermarket, the whole area outside the doors smell of tar and nicotine. It's horrible. It's all very well Forest talking about lifestyle restrictions, but smoking adversely affects the health of others. It is anti-social, and shows a selfish lack of concern for the wellbeing of others.
Ken Lingard, Sheffield

Having had to watch my father, unrecognizable to me after my return to the UK, die of lung cancer, and having subsequently attended the funerals of four other victims of the tobacco barons, I applaud all government moves to curb the consumption of this most pernicious of products.
Roger Rivenell, Australia

I would certainly like to see smoking banned from doorways and in all streets. We live next door to a well-known small supermarket and their staff parking area runs alongside our garden. Their offices are in the car park, and all the office staff smoke, as do their visitors. They constantly stand right by our garden fence and smoke. All their cigarette smoke wafts into our garden which is most unpleasant. Despite complaints, they still smoke right next to our property. Don't smokers realise how offensive and intrusive their habit can be? Ban it tomorrow as far as I am concerned.
Jackie Weller, River

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