Hockney work backs rights of smokers

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Yorkshire artist David Hockney has used his work to champion the rights of smokers.

Some of his latest paintings have been created to illustrate a new book, challenging the argument for smoking bans in public spaces. In one of the images, Hockney has depicted himself, cigarette in mouth, staring straight ahead.

The book, Unlucky Strike: Private Health and the Science, Law and Politics of Smoking, by John Staddon, also includes a forward by the celebrated artist and is published by the University of Buckingham Press.

In the forward Hockney notes that he has smoked for 60 years and says “Why stop now?”

The artist has been a long-term champion for the rights of smokers. Previously he has attacked government moves to ban branding on cigarette packaging, saying: “Who is going to stand up for the England of freedom? Baldwin, Attlee, Churchill, Macmillan and Wilson were five prime ministers who smoked. They wouldn’t believe what has happened to this country.”