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Why I'm fuming over NICE guidance

Dr Philip Rathbone, Long Clawson, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire

I was astonished to read that NICE is drawing up guidance that would encourage all GPs to pursue all registered smokers on an annual basis (News, 2 February). It would seem that there is no end to the health promotionists' desire to coerce free-living individuals into following an officially sanctioned 'healthy lifestyle'.

However much we may dislike smoking (and I do) it is not an illegal activity and health professionals have no right to harass individuals who have made a lifestyle choice.

I would remind anyone who thinks medical policing of private behaviour is a good idea that the most effective 'health promotionists' in the 20th century were the Nazis whose slogan was Gesundheit ist Pflicht (health is duty).

Maybe the health fascists are really out there after all!

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