11 MARCH 1966, Page 15

Deflation without Tears

SIR,--Nigel Lawson has now joined several other commentators in assuming that the drop in cigarette- smoking last year was caused by the high rate of duty on cigarettes. Every comment I have read on this fact takes the same line—that the Chancellor _ is killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. But why does no one suggest that the fall in cigarette consumption is a result of the intensive anti- smoking propaganda campaign, of the ban on TV cigarette advertising, and of the greater awareness of the health hazards? This would seem to me a pretty reasonable assumption. What is the view, I wonder, of the cigarette in- dustry and its friends, who made such a fuss when the TV advertising ban was imposed? Surely their objection to the ban was that it would lead to a

• drop in sales. One MP, I rem-Other, was even

talking about redundancies in the cigarette factory 7 Warwick Rood. Thornton Heath, Surrey