Views & Reviews Between the Lines

Smoking sophisticates and slobs

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 08 April 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1889
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    When I was a student a friend of mine (who has since achieved great eminence) said that one of the consequences of growing old was hardening of the concepts. It was therefore with relief that I discovered recently that I was still capable, despite my advanced years, of learning a new concept.

    The notion in question was that of “gratuitous smoking.” I learnt of its existence in a newspaper article about a group of doctors who had called for a ban on smoking in private cars to protect the health of children. According to the report, the doctors also suggested that films with “gratuitous smoking” should be shown only to …

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