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Dear Forest, I'm 18, should I take up smoking?

Does this sound like a genuine enquiry to you?


I am thinking about starting to smoke. I'm 18 years of age and I'm hearing a lot of different stories. I've never tried one but my friends say you get used to the taste and it relaxes you, I was wondering what you think about starting would I be better off not to? my parents always tell me it's the most addictive drug in the world and if you smoke a second one you're hooked but don't realise it yet. Any advice is appreciated!

Best regards,

My response:

Dear xxxxx,

Thank you for your email. If you were under 18 our advice would be 'Don't smoke'. Now that you are 18 you are legally an adult so it's not our role to offer you advice. It's up to you to make an informed choice, taking into account the health risks associated with smoking which I imagine you are familiar with.

Kind regards,

His reply:

Hi Simon,

Thanks for that, I decided not to do it.

Best regards,

Someone in tobacco control must be having a quiet day.

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Reader Comments (5)

A trap!

Had your advice been even remotely in favour of starting, then this would have found its way to the zealots.

Besides which, how many letters have you had asking for your advice about starting to smoke from teenagers who just happen to be of legal age…the chances are they would experimented long before the age of 18 – anyway, why ask you if his parents have already counselled him?

Nice try antis – but please use a bit more imagination next time – eh?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 10:44 | Unregistered CommenterDennis

You missed a trick there, Simon. Your response should have been that Forest do not advise on those matters, but you would pass his enquiry on to the esteemed Leg Iron. LI would, I'm sure, been willing to give the lad the benefit of his wisdom! :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 12:01 | Unregistered Commenternisakiman

Reminds me of those six year olds who write letters in perfect English asking for roads to be shut to cars so they can play in the street.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 13:38 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Bagley


The writer forgets that Forest has a brain , probably more highly connected than the majority of the zealots out there .

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 16:55 | Unregistered Commenterjean Reid

I think this trick is a bit too obvious even for all those anti groups out there. I suspect this is a ham-fisted attempt to "out" Forest as a group which "encourages young people to smoke" by an actual young person - like most things done by young people it's about as subtle as a brick to the head. Probably a goody-two-shoes anti-in-the-making, I suspect. And I doubt, too, that he/she is 18 yet as they claim - it has all the hallmarks of a 13-year-old or thereabouts. I'm surprised you graced this with a reply, Simon. I'd have sent him/her packing with a verbal clip round the ear along the lines of "get back to the playground kiddy-winks, and stop bothering us grown-ups." You must be mellowing in your old age ...!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 0:46 | Unregistered CommenterMisty

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