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"SMOKING IS MY CHOICE"

Quoted from The Guardian website

Tuesday June 1, 2004
The Guardian

To say that Ireland's smoking experiment worked - "Look no one smokes in the pubs anymore" - is naive. Most people are law-abiding for good reason, and the fines involved are out of all proportion to the offence.
The whole of the medical world might say smoking is a killer. Yes, it's like life itself, a slow killer. How do your correspondents (Letters, May 31) know that you save 5,000 lives a year? I do not believe it's possible to know that.

They want to hand over the tobacco industry to criminals, which is what will happen if you "ban" smoking. In 1919, the American government in its naivety handed over distribution of alcohol to criminals, thereby robbing the citizens of the benefits of taxing alcohol. There are people naive enough to do the same thing with tobacco, leading as it will to a more chaotic and criminal society.

Get real. You can no more stop people smoking than stop the waves. The story of Canute seems to be forgotten. He was not an old fool trying to stop the waves; he was demonstrating to his over-keen aides that his power was limited, and not as supreme as they suggested.

Smoking is a great pleasure. If it knocks some time off your life, it's only at the end of it. So what!

I admit people might not like smoky places, but you have to accept the fact that some people don't mind them, it's a price you pay for some excitement, but the dreary don't want anybody near smoke. I loathe the view of life that thinks some people have so much more knowledge of life that their advice must be listened to. I'm the expert on my life, not the doctor. He can advise, make suggestions, but ultimately I decide what will give me the excitement I want from life.

I take exercise. I walk in Holland Park, here in west London, every morning. One morning I was watching a peacock strut around with two rabbits scampering about, and then a black-and-white bird arrived. The scene was magical to me. I smoked a cigarette.

Three girls came by, jogging. One looked at me, shaking her finger and tut-tutting at me for smoking. OK, but they didn't see the peacock or the rabbits or the bird - they were so obsessed with their own bodies, and they thought their activity was healthier than mine. I do not think it was, but I don't want to ban jogging in Holland Park.

Could the medical profession give an explanation for Mrs Thatcher's life? Her husband puffed away on Senior Service, and she must have had some of it second-hand. He dies at 86, and she is still going. Please explain.
David Hockney
London

I address many of Mr Hockney's self-serving comments here.

See Mr Hockney on Newsnight.

 

 

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