The Hidden Power of Smokers

Comment by MJM :

Trump appealed to smoker-voters because he was NOT HILLARY. Hillary started off with banning smoking in the White House, but when she moved into government itself and pushed the creation and passage of the SCHIP tax (Any not familiar with it, see Phil Button’s blog ) she sealed her fate. Her antismoking activities, all by themselves, may very well have made the final difference in getting Trump rather than Clinton into the White House.

I think that’s almost certainly true. Hillary Clinton, like Michael Bloomberg, was no friend of smokers. And with smokers making up some 20% of the US adult voting population, that was an awful lot of voters that she had alienated. I’m not an American, but if I had been (or even if I had been an illegal immigrant expected to vote Democrat), I wouldn’t have voted for Hillary. She was completely toxic.

The odd thing about this is that the Clinton campaign was very much targeted towards minorities. Blacks. Women. LGBTQs. Latinos.They had the whole US population divided up into oppressed minorities of one kind or other. But they completely missed Smokers. Smokers just aren’t on their radar. Why’s that? Isn’t it obvious? Isn’t it obvious when smokers are being excluded from almost everywhere, fired from their jobs, refused medical treatment, evicted from their homes. WTF do you need to have done to you to count as an oppressed minority?

I explored the possible effect of smokers on both the shock-horror election of Donald Trump and the shock-horror Brexit vote. It seemed very likely to me that smokers swung both votes: they didn’t want the antismoking Hillary Clinton and they didn’t want the antismoking EU either.

It was no shock to me that Donald Trump got elected. But then, I’m a smoker, and I know what it’s like being excluded and demonised for being a smoker, and I know how smokers are likely to vote. I even placed a bet on Trump’s election, and won. But why were all the pundits and politicians shocked and horrified?  Aren’t they the experts who are supposed to know?

But it’s not very surprising that they can’t see the smokervoters. Because nothing is ever reported about them. People will look into the grievances of women, blacks, etc, but they never ever consider the grievances of smokers. There are no reports about it in the media. So smokers can’t have any grievances, can they? If they did, we’d have heard about it, wouldn’t we? And what the heck does it matter to anybody if they can’t light up one of their filthy stinking cigarettes in bars or restaurants any more? It’s trivial. It’s unimportant. It doesn’t matter at all.

But it’s not trivial. And it does matter. It matters a great deal to people to be “exiled to the outdoors”. It’s a new form of segregation. And it has the same profound impacts as any other kind of segregation, like the White-only bars, or Men-only clubs.

I think we’re seeing a form of groupthink going on here. And the groupthink is that there are only a certain number of Officially Designated Permanently Oppressed Minorities, and smokers aren’t on the list. And because they’re not on the list, they can’t be an oppressed minority, can they?

There’s no reporting in the MSM about smokers’ rights or smokers’ grievances. And maybe that will never change. It may be that antismoking lobbyists like ASH simply have far too much influence for smokers to ever get a hearing.

But with the MSM in steep decline, and the internet in growing ascendancy (last month Alex Jones’ Infowars claimed to be getting as much traffic as Fox News or CNN) it may be only via the internet, and small blogs like mine, that the plight of the smokers will enter into public consciousness.

The more smokers there are who publish blogs, or who comment on blogs, or who are otherwise active in spreading the word about smokers, the more likely it will become that people will start to realise that there’s a whole new oppressed minority of people out there: smokers. And now vapers too. Because that’s another piece of oppression.

The change will come one day. One day they’ll find the hidden power of smokers. Some genius polling guru will deduce it one day from a mass of calculations: smokers! Smokers are what’s producing these crazy election results! Why didn’t we see it before?! Milo, tell the Managing Director to come down here immediately! I’ve got something very, very important to tell him. No, it doesn’t matter if he’s having lunch at the 21 Club right now. Tell him to put down his knife and fork and get back here this minute. I’ll buy him another steak another time.

And then  you’ll start hearing in the news about smokers.Just a word or two occasionally, and then more and more. There’ll be documentaries done about smokers. They’ll become a brand new Officially Designated Permanently Oppressed Minority. The Archbishop of Canterbury will mention them. So will the Pope. The UN will produce a Charter of Smokers’ Rights.

Can you imagine it?

Me neither.

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47 Responses to The Hidden Power of Smokers

  1. Roobeedoo2 says:

    Have you seen the film ‘Margin Call’? I highly recommend it:

  2. Actually the Geneva Conventions already HAVE a “Charter of Smokers Rights” in their POW rules: prisoners have to be provided with tobacco (although, unfortunately, I don’t think it specifically designates smoking tobacco.)

    Thanks for further exploring this Frank. The idea of increasing taxes on any minority group, particularly one that’s clearly among the poorest of minority groups, by over 2,000% in one feel swoop in the US would normally be seen as unimaginable. You’d probably have drawn a blank non-response on the question in the last round of Ultimate Championship Million-Dollar Jeopardy … but that’s what Clinton/Obama’s SCHIP tax did to Roll Your Own smokers.

    And the 200% general per pack SCHIP federal tax increase did a similar number on regular smokers.

    As some of you may know, I’ve been quite active on Quora over the past three years, helping to keep it from turning into a Wikipedia clone with every word on smoking controlled by the Antis. Quora’s a bit different than most of the internet due to its heavily enforced “Be Nice, Be Respectful” moderation and its emphasis on facts/information as opposed to argument, but those qualities, combined with a “real name” policy, have given smokers and vapers an edge up over the Antis. People go there looking for information, not spam, fights, or propaganda-sound-bites — and that’s given me and a few other good folks a real edge over even the professional Antismokers-vapers.

    In any event, with tens of millions of participants, and with millions of those participants being professionals in their fields, you can quickly get accurate types of information that would be difficult to find on Google quite quickly when you ask a question. I asked about the highest percentage tax rate increases in the history of the world over there and promoted the Question to the tax professional and historical communities and found NOTHING approaching what’s been done to smokers.

    So, yes indeed, I think smokers, perhaps only when added on to the crests of the other competing special interest groups but still undeniably bulky enough to have tipped that dead-even race, tilted the victory from Clinton to Trump. I wrote about this effect (obviously just in more general terms though) back when I was writing TNacht and Brains, and even before… back into the early 90s on the net and the mid-80s on Quantum Link and local BBS’s (Heh, even one that tried to enforce a “No Smoking While You’re Signed On To My BBS!” rule!) I’d said that what was being done to smokers in an Orwellian-type control effort would have effects WAYYY beyond what was readily apparent — the rippling unintended consequences — and I think Brexit and Trump may be the two clearest examples of that on the world scale to date.

    – MJM

    • nisakiman says:

      I believe that the 2000% tax hike has been exceeded Michael, in fact I seem to recollect that it was double that figure. However, unsurprisingly, it was again tobacco that was the target, when King James 1st raised duty on tobacco by a huge amount. I think it was in the region of 4000%.

      Nothing changes where smokers are concerned – they are the perennial milch cow.

      • Hey, if you know the source for that I’d love to see it! Amazing that it would be on tobacco too!

        (I guess this means we should feel loved? Or somesuch?)


        • Rose says:


          “JAMES, by the Grace of God &c. to our right Trustie and right Welbeloved Cousen and Counsellor, Thomas Earle of Dorset our High Treasourer of Englande, Greetinge.”

          “We do therefore will and command you our Treasurer of Englande, and herebye also warrant and aucthorise you to geve order to all Customers Comptrollers Searchers Surveyors, and all other Officers of our Portes, that, from and after the sixe and twentith Day of October next comynge, they shall demaunde and take to our use of all Merchauntes, as well Englishe as Strangers, and of all others whoe shall bringe in anye Tabacco into this Realme, within any Porte Haven or Creek belonging to any theire severall Charges, the Somme of Six Shillinges and eighte Pence uppon everye Pound Waight thereof, over and above the Custome of Two Pence uppon the Pounde Waighte usuallye paide heretofore;”

          “Wytnes our self at Westminster the seaventeenth Day of October.” [1604].

        • Frank Davis says:

          40 times or 4000% increase

        • Rose says:

          Note that the tobacco tax under Elizabeth 1st had been two pence a pound.

          Elizabeth 1st, Gloriana, the Virgin Queen for whom Virginia was named, died without heir in 1603.

        • nisakiman says:

          Frank and Rose have answered for me, Michael. The tax increased from twopence a pound to 6/8d a pound. Bear in mind that there were twelve pennies to the shilling, so the hike from twopence to 80 pence on a pound of tobacco gives you your 4000%.

          Outrageous, or what?

      • Frank Davis says:
        1604: ENGLAND: King James I writes “A Counterblaste to Tobacco”
        1604: ENGLAND: King James I increases import tax on tobacco 4,000%

        Not just James I, but also Charles I increased taxes on tobacco:

        In 1633, Charles increased taxes on tobacco, justifying the move by condemning tobacco’s impact on English society: “The plant or drug called tobacco, scarce known to this nation in former times, was in this age first brought into this realm in small quantity, as medicine, and so used… but in the process of time, to satisfy the inordinate appetites of men and women it hath been brought in great quantity, and taken for wantonness and excess, provoking them to drinking and other incontinence, to the great impairing of their healths and depraving them of their manners, so that the care which His Majesty hath of his people hath enforced him to think of some means of preventing of the evil consequences of this immoderate use thereof.”

        So it was a “health measure” back then too. Nothing ever changes, does it?

        After the tax increases by first James I and then Charles I, there must have been a lot of angry smokers in England. Is it any wonder that the English Civil War broke out less than 10 years later?

  3. Rose says:

    I don’t think that oppressed minorities generally have their main oppressors and those calling for further persecution continually jusifying their own vicious behaviour by saying that 70% of the oppressed minority they are constantly targeting , welcome the harassment because they don’t want to be who they are.

  4. Ray Yeates says:

    Just checked my hotmail and read you post Mr Davis. Excellent! You really do have my respects. Yes I am a vaper and for good reason, but I do try to remember where I’ve come from even if I fail short of expectations. Regardless, I just stopped in to share with you what I have found that I believe may be of worth for smokers/vapers alike to seriously consider as an opportunity to regain that vigor once know to all of us. ( believe me I have no political party preferences here) Anyhow here is my own response and the link. Kudos from NS Canada.

  5. lleweton says:

    The Archbishop of Canterbury…. Here’s hoping.

  6. It’s called ‘Social Apartheid’. Whilst society quite rightly railed against racial apartheid in recent years, it seems to have become commonly accepted that social apartheid is something to be encouraged. The mainstream media refuse to report on it.

    I even wrote about it on my own blog several months ago.

    It has led to whole swathes of society being excluded from social settings simply because of the lifestyle they lead. From smokers, right through to vapers and even drinkers.

    In modern society, you cannot discriminate against (for example) the traveller society, nor can you discrimate against LGBT communities. But you can discriminate against smokers, vapers and even drinkers. Why ? Being a smoker, vaper or drinker is merely a lifestyle choice. Being a traveller or LBGT is also a lifestyle choice. However, society allows discrimination against the smokers, vapers and drinkers, but does not allow discrimination against traveller or LBGT groups, despite all of them being a lifestyle choice.

    The world has very skewed values in the modern age, aided and abetted by the corrupt public health cabal which has insidiously integrated itself into modern society. The so-called liberals and socialists (i.e. the limp lefties) have been implicit in introducing this disgusting parody of (so-called) equality into modern society.

    As was stated in ‘Animal Farm’, all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others !!

  7. FARAGE: If Le Pen Wins, The EU Is Over

    UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage has taken one step closer to backing Front National candidate Marine Le Pen in the French presidential elections in 2017, declaring that if Ms. Le Pen wins, the European Union project will collapse entirely|By Raheem Kassam


  8. garyk30 says:

    ” with smokers making up some 20% of the US adult voting population”

    That would be just the cig smokers, Pipe/cigar smokers will add another 8% to that, making 28%.

    Then there are the spouses/best friends/significant others of the smokers that will add another 28%.

    Thus, possibly half of the adults are simpathatic to smokers to some degree.

    There are about 240 million adults in the USA, with about 65 million tobacco users alone.
    Sympathetic others might add another,at least, 40 million adults.

    That makes at least 100 million adults that should be organized to form a voting block.

    Such numbers would seriously impact elections ar any level.

  9. Republicans who hope to undo segments of Obama’s legacy have a powerful tool to do so in the Congressional Review Act of 1996. The law will enable Congress in January to repeal, with a simple-majority vote, any agency rule completed after May 30, 2016, as Politico reported. After blocking any rule with that mechanism, the agency would be barred from enacting anything that is “substantially the same.”

    And some Republicans are pushing to bolster the tool by enabling Congress to repeal groups of regulation wholesale, instead of dismantling it piece by piece

  10. smokingscot says:

    100% spot on Frank. Been spouting about this phenomenon for some time myself, yet – perversely – I derive great satisfaction when another shoo-in bites the dust. This time it’s the right wing candidate for the forthcoming Presidential election in France. And it is Francois Fillon!

    Mr. F is a great admirer of Ms Thatcher, brutally scathing of the EU and far less likely to play silly buggers with Britain about Brexit.

    Checked on him vs smoking bans and he appears to be silent on the subject (though at the moment even Google’s having problems with anything about his past, only about the shock upset).

    However I’m now of the opinion that it’s not smokers alone who are changing the political landscape. Immigration, taxes, wanton waste, lousy deposit interest rates, our deference to supranational bodies (UN, WHO), overseas aid, narrow minded politicians, couldn’t give a damn House of Lords, mis-allocation of funds – and squalid little scrotum scratchers, like Andrew Black of the Department of Health, being able to give away £15 million to the World Health Organisation simply to advance his personal standing (and career prospects) within the Tobacco Control sphere are all part of the mix.

    By the by, if you want to use some of your betting win from Trump for another long shot, put a tenner on Fillon.

  11. jaxthefirst says:

    As I mentioned in a previous comment, I feel that because the majority of the MSM, and politicians, and poll-designers – as mostly non-smokers themselves – see smoking as “such a little issue in the greater scheme of things,” they simply don’t understand how persecuted and bullied smokers feel, and how much they dislike the smoking ban and all the other unfairnesses heaped upon us. And in fairness, how would they? I know from my own life experience that I simply didn’t know what it felt like to be on the sharp end of State-supported prejudice until it happened to me as a smoker. Then it hit home! And, probably much like the majority of members of many other persecuted minorities before us, I’ve felt largely powerless and ignored. And because there’s nothing more humiliating than asking for help and having your requests treated with disdain (which is what happens when you raise the subject with someone, for example, like one’s MP), it’s easier to save face by not mentioning the issue at all. So I suspect that that’s why the majority of smokers simply haven’t made a lot of noise about anti-smoker bullying. Because what’s the point when no-one’s taking you seriously?

    But just because smokers aren’t making a song and dance about the prejudice they are subject to doesn’t mean that they like it – any more than black people in the USA liked segregation, gay people accepted that it was “fair enough” for them to be jailed for having consensual sexual relations with someone of the same sex, or women enjoyed not having any property rights or being expected to stay at home and simply pop out babies in a dutiful fashion. But for many years they endured it, simply because the whole State mechanism was against them. Politicians, the media, the courts – all were all run by straight, white men, by and large, who not being members of the persecuted groups simply couldn’t comprehend what it might be like to be on the receiving end of deeply entrenched social, and State-supported, prejudice.

    I remember seeing a programme talking about one of the US elections (can’t remember which one, now – 1960s/1970s maybe?), and in it the guest said that the reason for (another) “surprise” election result was daytime TV. When the presenter expressed surprise and asked how on earth daytime TV could possibly have an effect on an election result, the guest explained that it was due to the fact that (back then) the main daytime TV viewing audience comprised women stuck at home with the kids and the housework, whilst their husbands were out at work. And daytime TV, the guest explained – in its attempts to appeal to its core audience, the women – had started to feature women saying the unsayable – that they felt constricted, bored, unhappy, discontented and, yes, prejudiced against, in their roles of stay-at-home housewives and mothers. And that resonated strongly with a lot of women who felt the same, but simply didn’t have the courage to face the wrath of society by coming out and saying it in public. As a result, in the election, they went out and voted for the candidate who indicated the most likelihood for changing the status quo, and actively avoided the one who poo-poohed such ideas from a silly bunch of over-emotional girlies.

    But the pertinent fact here is that very few of the women who went out and cast their vote the way they did for the reason they did actually ever said as much to the party campaigners who trolled around the streets in the approach to the election. They simply took note of each candidate’s attitude towards “women’s role in society,” and quietly went out and voted accordingly. And I think there are a lot of smokers like that. We don’t stand on the doorstep and berate the poor old party canvasser who knocks on our door (some may, but I doubt that many do). We just quietly take note of their leaders’ stance on smoking, and then vote accordingly. Then the non-smoker-run “establishment” gets a “shock result.” Again. Eventually, it will dawn on them. But they’ll never know for certain until they start asking – and for that to happen many years of anti-smoking brainwashing has to be erased so that can begin to comprehend the unpalatable fact that smoking, for some people, is far from the “minor issue” that they themselves see it as.

  12. mandyv says:

    How many times recently have I heard on the news when reporters go on about the war in Syria, women burned their hijabs and people openly smoked, when ISIS, another smoke hating group got their arses kicked out. Not important to some maybe, but still hugely important to many otherwise why do they even mention it. Only it is reported as people getting their freedoms back. Not smoking their filthy cigarette. The smoking ban woke many up including me, I was never really bothered about politics up until then.

    • ” The smoking ban woke many up including me, I was never really bothered about politics up until then.”

      The smoking bans woke me up to the dangers of Big Government. I was raised under the threat of instant world annihilation from nuclear war, and the idea of a strong world government seemed like the *ONLY* way to prevent that from happening. That belief, combined with a fairly idealistic view of people’s innate goodness and intelligence, made me uncomfortably comfortable with the idea of an informal benevolent dictatorship.

      The smoking bans taught me that even a benevolent dictatorship can go bad, and taught me how people’s minds can be so easily twisted and manipulated by lies.

      Those changes truly did radically change my politics. I’m still a “radical” — not fully comfortable in either the liberal or the conservative camps — but my general leaning in politics has definitely moved significantly toward the conservative “less government is better government” position.

      – MJM

    • Walt Cody says:

      Interesting too that Trump’s nominee for Defense said that he could “get more information with a pack of cigarettes and a beer” than with torture. But the media that reports this doesn’t seem to (or want to) understand the part about cigarettes.

    • prog says:

      Ditto Mandy. Remember the EU demo at the HOC years ago when we were with F2C? Spent about two hours queuing for security check to have a look round the bloody place.

      David (and Karen).

  13. Rose says:

    Pricing the poor out of the market, while maintaining a good income stream, by James 1st.

    “Whereas Tabacco being a Drugge of late Yeres found out, and by Merchants, as well Denizens as Strangers, brought from forreign Partes in small quantitie into this Realm of England and other our Dominions, was used and taken by the better sort both then and nowe onelye as Phisicke to preserve Healthe,

    and is now at this Day, through evell Custome and the Toleration thereof, excessivelie taken by a nomber of ryotous and disordered Persons of meane and base Condition , whoe, contrarie to the use which Persons of good Callinge and Qualitye make thereof ,

    doe spend most of there tyme in that idle Vanitie, to the evill example and corrupting of others, and also do consume that Wages whiche manye of them gett by theire Labour, and wherewith there Families should be releived, not caring at what Price they buye that Drugge, but rather devisinge how to add to it other Mixture, therebye to make it the more delightfull to their Taste, though so much the more costly to there Purse; by which great and imoderate takinge of Tabacco the Health of a great nomber of our People is impayred, and theire Bodies weakened and made unfit for Labor, the Estates of many mean Persons soe decayed and consumed as they are thereby dryven to unthriftie Shifts onelie to maynteyne their gluttonous exercise thereof,

    besides that also a great part of the Treasure of our Lande is spent and exhausted by this onely Drugge so licentiously abused by the meaner sorte , all which enormous Inconveniences ensuinge thereuppon We doe well perceave to proceed principally from the great quantitie of Tabacco daily brought into this our Realm of England and Dominions of Wales from the Partes beyond the Seas by Merchauntes and others, which Excesse We conceave might in great part be restrayned by some good Imposition to be laid uppon it,

    whereby it is likelie that a lesse Quantitie of Tabacco will hereafter be broughte into this our Realm of Englaud , Dominion of Wales and Town of Barwick then in former tymes, and yet sufficient store to serve for their necessarie use who are of the better sort , and have and will use the same with Moderation to preserve their Healthe;”

    Of course, later anti-tobacco groups draw no distinction between Nicotiana Rustica that was available in 1604 and what James 1st was complaining about and the much milder Nicotiana Tabacum which everyone much preferred and which we still smoke in England today.

    “Whereas before 1616 the indifferent plant (Nicotiana rustica) of the English colonies offered little competition to the popular Spanish leaf (Nicotiana tabacum) which was grown in the West Indies, Mexico, and the north of South America, the English colonists, by taking the Spanish plant from Trinidad and planting it in Virginia, began to trade in earnest. Indeed, it was largely due to this fact that England kept its hold on North America. In 1616 the first successful shipload of the New Virginian tobacco was sent across the Atlantic.”

  14. Frank Davis says:

    Tobacco was “sold in England at 3 shillings per pound” circa 1612, it would seem. But in 1604 6 shillings and 8 pence duty was added to the price. It must mean that it was bought from Virginia at 3 shillings/pound. And then 6/8d was added in duty. Meaning it was sold in England for about 10 shillings/pound

    An Obnoxious Weed – The Colonial Tobacco Trade in the 1700’s

    Smoking – clay pipe, not the familiar modern cigarette – was therefore already popular in Europe before Virginia was colonised. James I, by 1604, was so repulsed by the habit that he issued A Counterblast to Tobacco, three years before Jamestown was settled.

    An Englishman, John Rolfe, sent to the Colony in 1612 by the Virginia Company, found that tobacco would grow well in Virginia and sell profitably in England. Many of the original Jamestown colonists had died of starvation as their farming efforts had been relatively unsuccessful. Throughout Virginia and the greater Chesapeake, the potential cash value of tobacco soon became apparent.

    In 1613, rather than the harsh strain of tobacco that was native to Virginia, Rolfe grew a crop of Sweet-scented tobacco from seeds imported from the Caribbean. England paid a high price for this sweeter tobacco, and the craze for planting it followed. Settlers began to plant it in every available land space. Before mid century the Chesapeake colonies were able to rely on tobacco as a main means of currency.

    Jamestown settlers cared more about the price paid for tobacco than for King James’s personal opinion against smoking. The tobacco in John Rolfe’s original shipment of four hogsheads was sold in England at 3 shillings per pound. Tobacco therefore provided the colonial governments of Virginia and Maryland with one of their principal revenue sources.
    A duty of two shillings levied on each hogshead of tobacco exported yielded Virginia £3,000 in 1680, and £6,000 per annum from 1758-1762. In Maryland the proceeds remained steady at £2,500 per annum from 1700. Exports increased from £2,300 in 1616 to almost £50,000 in 1618.

    A man’s wealth was estimated by his annual amount of accrued pounds of tobacco. Tobacco currency was also used to pay fines and taxes. For example, to marry, a man had to pay the rector of his parish so many pounds of tobacco. Owners permitting Negroes to keep horses were fined 500 pounds tobacco.

    George Washington was, initially, a successful tobacco planter. He inherited slaves and agricultural lands on the Middle Peninsula and the Peninsula when he married, Martha Dandridge Custis, the richest widow in the state.In 1759 his slaves on the Claibornes plantation produced 23,427 pounds of tobacco and 281 barrels of corn.

    The original English settlements in Jamestown had no slaves, but by 1700 there was not enough labour to be of sufficient use. The first black slaves arrived in 1619 and in 1660 only 3% of the colonists were black. By 1680 the black population still only composed less than 7%. Between 1667-1686 Virginia created a legal structure for holding black families in permanent slavery, and imported a huge quantity of slaves after 1700 to provide sufficient labour to grow tobacco. At the time of the first census in 1790, 20% of the residents in Virginia were slaves.

  15. Frank Davis says:

    In 1612 John Rolfe, an Englishman sent with the Virginia Company, found that tobacco would grow well in Virginia and sell profitably in England. This was wonderful news considering that many of the Jamestown colonists had died or suffered miserably as their farming efforts had been relatively unsuccessful. Throughout Virginia and the greater Chesapeake, the potential cash value of tobacco soon captivated the imaginations of the colonists. They began to plant it in every available clearing, from fields to the forts and streets of Jamestown, and eventually to much of Tidewater Virginia.[2] “Dominating the Virginia economy after 1622, tobacco remained the staple of the Chesapeake colonies, and its phenomenal rise is one of the most remarkable aspects of our colonial history.”[3]

    As gold and silver became scarce, and the use of wampum was terminated because of its complications, the Chesapeake colonies were able to rely on tobacco as a means of currency. Tobacco was the safest and most stable currency that the Chesapeake colonies had or could have, and it always had a value in exchange for gold.

    Tobacco provided the colonial governments of Virginia and Maryland with one of their principal sources of revenue. A duty of two shillings, or about 20 cents, levied on each hogshead of tobacco exported from those colonies yielded Virginia 3,000 pounds, or $4,541 in 1680, and 6,000, or $9,082, a year during 1758-1762. In Maryland the proceeds were steady at 2,500 pounds, or $3,784, a year from 1700.

    Huron Indian myth has it that in ancient times, when the land was barren and the people were starving, the Great Spirit sent forth a woman to save humanity. As she traveled over the world, everywhere her right hand touched the soil, there grew potatoes. And everywhere her left hand touched the soil, there grew corn. And when the world was rich and fertile, she sat down and rested. When she arose, there grew tobacco …

  16. Frank Davis says:

    Smoking an English middle class habit.

    TOBACCO was introduced to Europe by the Spanish, who had learned to smoke it from Native Americans. Despite some early criticism of “drinking smoke,” tobacco became popular among the middle classes in England.

    By 1630, over a million and a half pounds of tobacco were being exported from Jamestown every year.

    The tobacco economy rapidly began to shape the society and development of the colony. Growing tobacco takes its toil on the soil. Because tobacco drained the soil of its nutrients, only about three successful growing seasons could occur on a plot of land. Then the land had to lie fallow for three years before the soil could be used again. This created a huge drive for new farmland.

    Settlers grew tobacco in the streets of Jamestown. The yellow-leafed crop even covered cemeteries. Because tobacco cultivation is labor intensive, more settlers were needed.

    Indentured servants became the first means to meet this need for labor. In return for free passage to Virginia, a laborer worked for four to five years in the fields before being granted freedom. The Crown rewarded planters with 50 acres of land for every inhabitant they brought to the New World.

    Naturally, the colony began to expand. That expansion was soon challenged by the Native American confederacy formed and named after Powhatan.

  17. Frank Davis says:

    Assorted links relating to 1630

    the wasteful practice of growing three or four crops of tobacco on the same field began to deplete the soil in and around Jamestown. The General Assembly passed a law in 1632 to reduce the number of tobacco plants that each settler could grow to 1,500, and thus the settlers began to seek virgin ground where they could grow even more tobacco on each field. By 1635, tobacco planting had moved away from Jamestown as settlers migrated to lands on the south side of the York River, and by 1648 the planters had received permission from Governor Sir William Berkeley to move north of the York River into the area that had become known as Northumberland.

    In 1635 Charles ordered that everyone in the country should pay Ship Money. This was historically a tax paid by coastal towns and villages to pay for the upkeep of the navy. The logic was that coastal areas most benefited from the navy’s protection. Charles decided that everyone in the kingdom benefited from the navy’s protection and that everyone should pay.

    In one sense, Charles was correct, but such was the relationship between him and the powerful men of the kingdom, that this issue caused a huge argument between both sides. One of the more powerful men in the nation was John Hampden. He had been a Member of Parliament. He refused to pay the new tax as Parliament had not agreed to it. At this time Parliament was also not sitting as Charles had locked the MP’s out. Hampden was put on trial and found guilty. However, he had become a hero for standing up to the king.
    Charles I believed he ruled with the Divine Right of Kings. This meant he thought he was King by the will of God and therefore his decisions could not be challenged or questioned. This ideology was opposed by those who believed there should be a limit to Royal authority; that the people and their representatives, that is Parliament should have more say in how the nation was governed. Tied up with this were arguments over the Church and religion. There were deep divisions over what religious practices, forms of worship and organisational structure the Church should have.
    A key factor which led to the outbreak of the Civil War was King Charles and his lack of money.

    Charles’ father King James I, had led a lavish, extravagant lifestyle, which had left the Royal treasury depleted. The cost of running the Royal household of Charles I was similarly expensive. King Charles was a patron of the arts and spent vast sums of money on musicians to entertain his Court and in buying works of art.

    King Charles needed to call Parliament to ask for money. In June 1625 Parliament had only granted the King tonnage and poundage (income from customs duties) for a single year, rather than for life as was customary. This meant that Charles would be forced to call Parliament again to grant further taxes.

    Parliament refused to grant King Charles enough money to finance military campaigns against Spain and France. Charles dismissed Parliament and sought to raise income through a Forced Loan. That is money from taxes levied without the consent of Parliament. Refusal to pay often resulted in imprisonment without trial. This caused much discontent. In 1628 a Commons’ Petition of Right was drawn up which stated that the king could not levy taxes on his subjects without the assent of Parliament, nor arbitrarily imprison them. Although King Charles initially agreed to the Petition it was never properly enacted as a statute.

    In March 1629 Charles dismissed Parliament and began what he called his ‘Personal Rule’ and what his opponents called the ‘Eleven Years’ Tyranny’. As only Parliament could legally grant taxes King Charles had to find other non-Parliamentary sources of revenue. Charles exploited the Royal prerogative and imposed knighthood fees on landowners worth £40 or more a year (distraint of knighthood). Monopolies were sold to rich merchants, even though this was forbidden by Parliamentary Statute. Forest boundaries were reinstated to their ancient limits, so that forest fines could be levied on those who now found themselves within the new boundaries. In 1635 the King demanded ship money from all the counties of England and not just those on the coast. Wealthy land owner, John Hampden MP, was tried in court for non-payment of ship money as he believed the King had no legal right to collect it. King Charles made himself very unpopular amongst those people who were traditionally royal supporters.

    • Rose says:

      Cotswold Tobacco Growing

      1635: Officers trying to interfere with tobacco growing in Gloucestershire were met with resistance.

      This move against local people by the monarchist state was greatly resented and encouraged the growers to support the Parliamentary cause and the English Revolution of 1640-48. But, in the 1650s, the Commonwealth eventually took the same line and fights were rife with Parliamentary Agents, who were sent to uproot and/or set fire to the crops.

      Gloucester was renowned during the Civil War and afterwards as a parliamentary and puritan stronghold. During the summer of 1643 the city successfully withstood the king’s army in a protracted siege, a victory that marked ‘the turning of the wheel, for ever after the parliament-forces prevailed‘. Subsequently Gloucester was a leading garrison town against the royalists, controlling important military operations in the west.”

  18. Pingback: Did Tobacco Duties Help Trigger The English Civil War? | Frank Davis

  19. Supergran says:

    Do you know what Frank … and friends. Nice normal intelligent people have actually become brainwashed and I find it shocking. A lovely friend of mine noticed I had an ecig on my desk at work. She said, how come you’re using that? I said I was just cutting down a bit as I dont go abroad for a couple of months and am ekeing out my cigs till then, as I havent bought cigs in England for about 12 years, plus I had a streaming cold and cough.

    She said “how much nicotine is in that”??? I asked “why, what difference would it make if it were non or 25%?” She didnt GET that if you take your nicotine through an ecig the “smoking” part of it is completely gone. She genuinely didnt get it and I know its brainwashing at its best. Some people at work have stopped smoking altogether with ecigs but on many occasions they “boast” that they are down to almost no nicotine!!!!!!!! I really dont get it you know, they turn to ecigs and save massive amounts of money from buying cigs, and then are all chitter chattering amongst each other about “oh well, Im down to 6mg, or I’m nearly down to nicotine free! Of course, Im of the opinion each to his/her own, always have been, but the pressure and brainwashing over this past couple of decades has made usually normal intelligent people think that stopping smoking and using an ecig is STILL somehow “naughty” and that they each compete with each other about who’s on the lowest level of nicotine. I get annoyed, I dont suffer fools gladly so rather than scream and shout, I just let them get on with it, but it makes me sick. I want to shout AND WHEN YOU’RE DOWN TO ZERO nicotine, what are you going to do then, just inhale flavoured steam FFS!!!!!!!!!!Good write-up (as usual) Frank.

  20. Pingback: Smokin’ Smokers: Part 2 -Laud Nose Watt… – Library of Libraries

  21. beobrigitte says:

    Trump appealed to smoker-voters because he was NOT HILLARY. …
    The odd thing about this is that the Clinton campaign was very much targeted towards minorities. Blacks. Women. LGBTQs. Latinos.

    In that case Hilary picked the ones who can look after themselves. (In my cases my bosses can vouch for that!!!)

    But they completely missed Smokers. Smokers just aren’t on their radar. Why’s that? Isn’t it obvious? Isn’t it obvious when smokers are being excluded from almost everywhere, fired from their jobs, refused medical treatment, evicted from their homes. WTF do you need to have done to you to count as an oppressed minority?
    Trump appealed to us smokers. Literally everywhere. The question is: is Trump REALLY helping us once he moves into the white house? He gives a shallow picture otherwise. And a picture of a businessman who knows how to get what he wants. I need convincing he wants US SMOKERS.
    On the other hand, he made friends with an UK smoker – Nigel Farage.

    I just hope for us it isn’t the case “You are fired”.

  22. Re Trump as “The Smokers’ Friend” : I doubt it. Trump doesn’t smoke and it is EXTREMELY unlikely he’s taken the time to look into the science surrounding secondary smoke exposure claims.

    So, as such, it’s extremely unlikely he has much impression of it all other than what he’s been exposed to as an “average person” through the media — which as we all know is “ETS IS MORE DEADLY THAN BUBONIC PLAGUE, AIDS, AND HEROIN COMBINED!”

    However, he’s not an activist on the issue. Which puts him a thousand miles ahead of Clinton as far as smokers are concerned. Trump has never gone out of his way to attack smokers. He would probably be sympathetic to our view that smokers are being persecuted as a minority.

    We’ll need to interact with him at whatever levels we can regarding this HUD housing ban, and it’s likely that most of that interaction will have to be through whoever he finally gets as Secretary of Housing or whatever it is he’s currently considering Carson for.

    He’ll probably raise taxes a LITTLE on smokers, but it won’t be anything at all like what Clinton would have done.

    We’ll have to see how things develop while watching carefully.

    – MJM

    • Frank Davis says:

      It may be that Mike Pence – who seems very sympathetic to smokers – might have some influence here. But since VPs often get completely sidelined, he may not have any influence at all.

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