Friday 28 October 2016

Secret to a fulfilling and healthy life - 40 cigarettes a day

Published 27/05/2016 | 02:30

Give smokers a break: Finian McGrath. Photo: Tom Burke
Give smokers a break: Finian McGrath. Photo: Tom Burke

I am delighted to read all the letters and articles in your paper supporting Finian McGrath's appeal for smokers to be treated with respect and to be provided with indoor areas to socialise. At 77 years of age and at 40 a day, I have lead a very healthy life. I joined VHI in 1962 and I have had one operation in 1984. In 40 years working, I had three weeks' sick leave.

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I have never had flu in my life. Why is it that the health fanatics argue that all smokers will get cancer or serious illness? Does it follow that non-smokers will die of old age?

My understanding is that genes play a big part in cancer. I think the vast amount spent by the Department of Health (or HSE) on health promotion is a waste. Please stick to treating people who are ill.

Now we have a junior minister in the area. Could I suggest banning alcohol in the workplace is more important than banning smoking? And bars in the Dáil should be the first to go. We do not need legislation voted on by people who may not be fully sober. Late night sittings are particularly dangerous. College campuses should also be alcohol-free. Charlie Weston had an article recently on the sustainability of old age pensions, wondering if they will be sustainable.

A secret report from the Department of Health to the Minister for News indicates the health service itself is - with the ageing population - unsustainable and the solution is to make smoking compulsory for 60-year-olds!

S Scanlon

Address with editor

The plight of the modern smoker

David Quinn should be congratulated, not mocked, for his important contribution to the debate about tobacco control (Irish Independent, Letters, May 25).

I applaud his clear and objective analysis in what is an ongoing attack by the State and its cheerleaders on a specific group in Irish society (Irish Independent, May 20).

Acknowledging that smokers are being given too hard a time by the State and correctly referring to Ireland's increasing intolerance of smoking as a sort of neo-puritanism, Mr Quinn accurately summarised the plight of nearly 800,000 adult smokers in this country.

In contrast, the arrogance of the tobacco control industry, and the lack of empathy for adults who choose to smoke a legal, consumer product, should be noted and feared by all.

John Mallon


More than words

Our workplaces, our schools and our homes are filled with hurtful words. Words are powerful weapons and can be used in the most hurtful way to harm another person, and trigger a journey on a downward spiral that can result in untold harm and damage, not only to that person, but to those who they love and care for.

When bad things are said to you, no matter what time of day it is, no matter how old you are, no matter where you are, no matter how long ago it was, no matter how drunk someone is, no matter if you know the person or not - it hurts. And it sticks.

Remember, we can never know what's going on in another person's head or heart.

We need to think before we speak.

So, it's really very simple. Let's use words to be kind to one another.

Brian Mc Devitt

Glenties, Co Donegal

Who are we to believe?

It was a mistake. That's all we're short of hearing with the correction from Enda Kenny, regarding his initial statement over the gangland murders, killings . . . call them what you will.

Just for one fleeting moment I thought I was going to see the famous blue and red costume of the man who can fix everything, when Enda unbuttoned his jacket to correct his oral error, somewhat like The Ryder Cup gaffe (Kenny referring to it as a battle between Britain and the United States).

We also had soldiers guarding the ATM machines, or the man writing to say thanks for the extra money in his pay packet.

Once again, more resources are being heaped upon the gardaí, whatever are they going to do with it all?

Can we believe anything that's said in Leinster House, irrespective of who said it?

Fred Molloy

Dublin 15

An end to 'cheap labour'

The scrapping of the notorious JobBridge scheme cannot come a moment too soon. It was criticised as a cheap labour scheme, where interns were sometimes exploited.

Many employers knew nothing whatsoever about JobBridge rules and regulations. Questions from interns about being kept on after the internship were often followed by vague remarks, like "Maybe, perhaps, or we do not know".

Others were told, point blank, that they would not be kept on after a gruelling internship. The Department of Social Protection should have known from job descriptions in advertisements that many employers were looking for factotums to go here, there, and everywhere and not interns. Mentors were often not assigned and were nominal only. In some cases, they barely knew what they were doing themselves and had little time for the intern or none at all. JobBridge was supposed to be a scheme for unemployed people to get into the workplace and off welfare.

Employers turned it into a scheme to suit themselves - like many other job and training programmes down through the decades.

Maurice Fitzgerald

Shanbally, Co Cork

The price of coming home

I was reading with great interest the many complaints by returning Irish and the costs they face when insuring their car after a gap of two years or more out of the country.

I am planning to return after a 15-year absence having lived and worked in Germany.

This being part of the European Union would make you believe that insurance can be assessed within EU countries as part of what was originally coined the 'common market'.

Well, I can tell you that 15 years of 'no claims bonus' counts for nothing; 15 years of private health insurance counts for nothing. It's as if I'd never lived in Ireland before.

This is exactly what Britain and the potential pro-Brexit campaign must realise when those that want to stay don't know.

There is no such thing as a European Union. It is a bureaucratic convenience for banks, insurance companies, investors, and oh, let's not forget the politicians and European MEPs.

Imagine an American citizen who moves from state to state having to put up with this?

Andrew Browne

Cork (moving back from Düsseldorf, Germany very soon)

Irish Independent

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