I sometimes wonder why antismoking zealots bother. I think they’re living wasted lives, trying to stop people doing something they don’t approve of. More or less any other job is productive in some way. Most people do something that’s positive in some small way. But what antismokers do is entirely negative. They aren’t trying to add anything to life. They’re not trying to start something. They’re only trying to subtract something. They’re trying to stop something.
It’s like devoting your life to getting a road closed, or a building demolished, or a newspaper silenced.
What an awful thing to say, towards the end of your miserable life: “I tried to stop people smoking.” To me, that’s like saying you tried to stop people daydreaming, or playing chess, or listening to music.
Those are the thoughts that swirled up with a couple of recent headlines:
A new report from the Institute of Medicine suggests that increasing the minimum age of legal access to tobacco products will improve the health of Americans across their lifespan and save lives.
The report notes that over the past half a century, there have been an estimated 8 million fewer premature deaths thanks to increased tobacco control efforts in the US. More than 40 million Americans still smoke, however.
Currently, the minimum age of legal access (MLA) for tobacco products is set at 18 years for most states. Alabama, Alaska, New Jersey and Utah have an MLA of 19 years, however. Some localities – such as New York City – have raised it to 21.
Disney has announced that it is banning smoking in all of its PG 13-rated future productions, including Marvel, LucasFilm and Pixar films.
“We are extending our policy to prohibit smoking in movies across the board,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger, during a meeting with shareholders last week. He then clarified that the ban would not apply to instances in which smoking was part of the cultural or historical background of a real-life figure.
“For instance, we’ve been doing a movie on Abraham Lincoln, he was a smoker, and we would consider that acceptable,” Iger said. “But in terms of any new characters that are created for any of those films, under any of those labels, we will absolutely prohibit smoking in any of those films.”
Asked by shareholder Stanton Glantz, a Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, whether Disney would be prepared to support a move to give an “R” rating (roughly equivalent to a UK 18 certificate) to all films depicting smoking, Iger said: “I think it would be a little bit presumptuous of me to commit to doing that today without getting a little bit more of a flavor or perspective on the dynamic that exists at the MPAA on the subject.
At this rate, it’s going to become illegal to mention the words “tobacco” or “cigarette” (because just saying the words “re-normalises” tobacco and smoking), just because these obsessives have got nothing better to do with their lives than do their level best to completely eradicate tobacco and smoking not just from human culture, but also from human memory.
When are ordinary people going to realise that the antismokers are quite simply insane, and embarked on an insane and destructive war?
When are ordinary people going to start rolling their eyes at the next lunatic demand from these obsessives? Because they’re not going to stop. They never stop. Ever.