Three cheers for Tony Anchors (Oxford Mail, July 21). The smoking ban is as much about public health as the hunting ban is about animal cruelty.

If it were the case, why was 24-hour drinking legalised at the same time? It's an absurdity.

The other day, I was travelling on a bus and saw two men sitting in an unmarked bus shelter clutching cans of booze and smoking.

The bus driver told me he has to keep telling people that it is illegal for them to light up there, and ask them to move on.

Does anyone really think that policing resources couldn't be better spent elsewhere? It does beggar belief.

There are dissidents, however - one barman is planning to go to court and challenge the fines he faces for allowing people to smoke after the ban.

He will argue that this is a piece of "hate" legislation, born from spite and the desire to persecute.

There is nothing that could not have been cured by better ventilation and extractor fans.

Of course, if passive smoking is not a myth, we will now probably see a rise in the number of cases of children with cancer and other bronchial ailments as a result of their families having nowhere to spread their habit.

Our beloved zealots may end up with a lot of blood on their hands.

Am I the only one to spot the class basis of this legislation?

Smoking is mainly a working-class activity.

Could the real reason have been to colonise our public houses with cocaine-snorting corporate-types?

As Lord Macaulay observed: "There is nothing so comical as our middle classes indulging in one of their periodic fits of morality."

More power to your elbow, Mr Anchors.

Perhaps he should take some comfort in the knowledge that people who are deprived of their civil rights for no good reason often become objects of sympathy to the public.

The hunting ban is fast becoming a human rights issue and the smoking ban will also become one.

Sadly, this may be the last contribution I make to your paper as economics have forced me to move out of the area.

I'm sure that will be a relief to some. It has, however, been a lot of fun.

ALAN PAGE Guildford Surrey (formerly Iffley Road, Oxford)