Challenge to find smoking alternatives that don't harm others

I was delighted to read Dr Michael Loh Toon Seng's rational and balanced view on the issue of smoking (Time to find more effective solution to smoking problem than bans; March 16).

It is an established fact that smoking cigarettes is dangerous to the human body.

Many legal hurdles have also been put in place to deter tobacco companies.

Yet, the tobacco industry has proved remarkably resilient, and people continue to smoke.

It has been argued that we have to respect personal choice - a smoker has the right to smoke, despite the harm he is causing to himself.

But this argument is demolished by the fact that innocent non-smokers face the same risk when they are in the presence of people smoking.

Perhaps the tobacco companies need to be challenged to provide smokers with an alternative that doesn't affect the rest of us.

The industry has the financial muscle to finance vast research and development. This would also provide jobs.

Tang Li

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 20, 2017, with the headline 'Challenge to find smoking alternatives that don't harm others'. Print Edition | Subscribe