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    My name is Lynton Crosby, King of Ministers Look on my works, ye vulnerable, and despair!

    So the government have not been venal or vapid in pulling out of plain packaging for cigarettes, but ‘very sensible’. Maybe they would think waiting and seeing whether having brakes fitted to cars or wings to aeroplanes is also ‘very sensible’. The cover of Thorax this month has been left plain as a mark of respect for the thousands who will take up smoking and die as a result of this ‘very sensible’ decision. Are e-cigarettes the answer? John Britton brings a lifetime of tobacco control campaigning and a richly deserved CBE (Congratulations!) to bear on the issue (see page 904). He argues cogently that they are safer than smoking, and as a step down to quitting are, as with nicotine patches, to be encouraged. Three caveats: (1) safety in pregnancy is not established and we know from animal work that nicotine per se damages the developing lungs, although likely not as badly as the rest of the …

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