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Doctor urges total cigarette ban


A respiratory specialist has called for cigarettes to be banned after witnessing increasing numbers of younger people develop lung disease.

Anindo Banerjee, who works at Southampton General Hospital, said cigarettes are still a massive health problem and not just for older people.

He recounted how a 19-year-old smoker is currently in the hospital being treated for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which usually causes people to slowly suffocate.

“Year on year we are seeing increasing numbers of patients with severe chest diseases due to smoking in which the lungs are damaged, such as COPD,” Mr Banerjee said.

“Depressingly, large numbers of young people smoke, and they often believe that the warnings do not apply to them.

“We are seeing increasing numbers of young people whose lungs have been destroyed by smoking, who suffer the same breathlessness and restriction and whose lives are blighted by their enjoyment. Our youngest patient with this disease is 19 years old.”

Diseased lungs can be transplanted or parts of them cut away to allow one lung to work better, he said.


Readers' comments (8)

  • Absolutely could not agree more! Well said that man!

    There is no place for this disgusting, horrible and selfish habit in society.

    The government should make illegal all sales of this disgusting drug now, and ban any use of it it ANY public or private space!

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  • I am a smoker and find it extremely hard to give up - I think the only way I would stop is if they did ban it, ban selling them and ban smoking them! What's wrong with this government? They have banned illicit drugs that cause less harm! Ban them all and save the NHS a huge bill!

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  • The government will never ban cigarettes as they generate too much revenue.

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  • I agree with the last comment. In the present economic climate they would be in a worse financial mess if they banned smoking completely. The result would also mean trading would go underground and the criminal fraternity would have a 'heyday'.

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  • I was lucky enough to manage to give up 5 years ago when my kids were born.(I didnt want them to see their dad smoking). I was 38 at the time though and only now do I realise what I have probably done to myself. Even now though I still see parents smoking in cars with kids in the back and the windows closed. You can't tell me they don't know what harm they're doing to those kids. I don't understand how someone can be prosecuted for eating a chocolate bar behind the wheel,but smoking is totally acceptable.

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  • yawn !

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  • ANONYMOUS 12-MARCH-2010 13:55 PM

    Ifeel the Government would not apply strong policies. Cigarette smoking will never be banned. They benefit their economy an increase of hospitalised patients through lung disease due to smoking. Increase of deaths due to deterioration.

    Ifeel sorry for this Government benefits from peoples bad habits. I completely agree with 3rd comment.

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  • People shgould remember this is a free country and if the govenment banned it our taxes would go through the roof then someone will post a new topic on this website saying "why are we paying too much tax". Last point if every person in the UK was well and never had a health problem we would all be out of a job, so lets stop moaning and stop trying to ban things that will never be banned.

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