A sad but rather silly story in the papers this week. Allen Carr, the man who wrote best-selling books about giving up smoking and ran an international chain of clinics for smokers, has been diagnosed with lung cancer.
Mr.Carr is a pretty bright bloke, even if he doesn't know how to spell his own christian name. He used to be an accountant, but made himself a multi-millionaire by his anti-smoking work. Refreshingly, he is on the side of the smokers - for example, he has spoken out strongly against the idea of smoking bans, which he thinks are discriminatory and pointless. Instead of hounding smokers, he wants the government and the NHS to adopt a realistic and responsible attitude to helping them find effective ways of quitting.
But now, still working at the age of 71, he has lung cancer. We wouldn't wish that on our worst enemy, let alone someone who has helped thousands of smokers including Ruby Wax, Richard Branson and Anthony Hopkins.
That's the sad bit.
The silly bit is that our attention was caught by one sentence in the news report. Apparently Mr.Carr believes that his cancer is due to passive smoking at all the smokers' meetings and clinics he has attended over the years.
Well, it's possible, I suppose. Personally we'd have thought it was more likely to have been caused by the fact that for 33 years he smoked over 100 cigarettes a day.
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