Martin Ball has overlooked the strong evidence linking passive smoking with coronary heart disease, bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, conjunctivitis and the myriad of other respiratory, inflammatory and allergic conditions that bring so much pain, suffering, misery and cost to the unwary, uninformed or simply vulnerable individuals who are exposed to the incontrovertibly poisonous substances inherent in tobacco smoke.

As a health professional and ex-smoker, I have no axe to grind with people who wish to participate in what is an entirely legal, and for many pleasurable, pastime. However, it is absurd and frankly obtuse to try to pretend that one can reasonably expose others to dangers generated for one's own gratification.

Research could be undertaken to show that not all drunk drivers kill, maim or injure people. Does that indicate we've got it wrong? Drinking alcohol is a perfectly legal and pleasurable experience for many, so why stigmatise those who wish to expose others to the effects of their social habits?

Malcolm Ward

Health promotion specialist

North Glamorgan trust