Dear Sir,
I, like countless others, was ecstatic to learn from recent press reports that smoking was to be banned here in Majorca in many public places, specifically in shops, bars and restaurants. Unfortunately, it would appear that a huge hiccup in communications has occurred with the latest news in the local press that some establishments are in the dark about what is law and what is not. There seems to be an air of 'nobody has been around to check and enforce or to impose threatened large fines'. The result being that the foul, unsociable, not to mention, unhealthy practice is ongoing and it is difficult to avoid being caught up in a cloud of smoke wherever one may be. A couple of days ago saw a crowd of Majorcan residents gathered in the Crematorium to say farewell to a much loved and respected member of the community of Palma Nova. He was a handsome man, he was dignified, courteous and incredibly caring. He had been married for 43 years to a wonderful, most attractive woman. He was a father to 2 sons and a daughter, a grandfather to 2 grandsons and, he had been a friend to me. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in October 2004. From that day he endured harsh medical treatment which in his own words he said he wouldn't wish on his worst enemy. Early this year during a telephone conversation, he could not contain his happiness as he shared the news of success with his treatment – the tumour had shrunk. He said that once his strength was back up to scratch he would be getting back to work. As it was through work that we met, I was over the moon with the news and, like all our colleagues, was looking forward immensely to his return. However, the good news was soon shattered by the return of the cancer and the need for more, stronger medical treatment. Sadly he lost his short hard fought battle and passed away on the 21st July. A lifetime spent in the entertainment world meant hours and hours working in pubs, clubs and restaurants. Apart from being an entertainer, he was also a sociable man and liked a small glass or two of the Scottish nectar in his local hostelery. And, like millions of people in the same field, he smoked an incredible number of cigarettes on a daily basis. Had he been able to use his own magic to see his future and watch himself leaving the stage so early in his life one has to pose the million dollar question – would he have given up smoking years ago? He was a victim of the addiction. So many people are! Here in Majorca it is totally out of control. Cigarettes are cheap and, more and more youngsters are lighting up. I have met numerous people who suffer with are asthma when breathing is often difficult but they still smoke. Even when suffering from chest infections and sore throats they still manage to light that cigarette. There is only one conclusion to draw here – they are completely crazy! It truly is a disgusting habit. Stopping smoking can save money and, more importantly, it can save lives! Life is full of choices for everyone. Smokers have two choices – have a cigarette or have a life – which would you prefer? Don't encourage your children to smoke. Give it up for someone you love starting with yourself.
Carolyn Mills, by email.

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