I saw something rather strange in a car park a few days ago. I had parked, and had just returned with my shopping, which I was placing inside my car. There was a car parked next to me, with the driver behind the wheel. I was keeping an eye on him because I was wondering if he was about to drive away. As I was watching, he suddenly blew out a truly vast cloud of smoke from his mouth. I’d never seen such an exhalation on such a scale before: with one breath he filled the entire car. I realised that he had to be vaping. And then he did it again. I started my car, and drove quickly away, slightly scared by what I’d seen.
I remembered it again this morning. And I had the thought – the inkling – that the War On Smoking had created a monster, much in the way that the War On Drugs only ever seems to produce new and ever more terrifying drugs. If pubs had once been a bit smoky from the smoke of a few dozen cigarettes, in the future they were going to be filled with a smog so dense that people would get lost on the journey from their table to the bar, or vice versa. In the attempt to get rid of one innocuous degree of smokiness, Tobacco Control has conjured up a new, almost inconceivable degree of smokiness. And the vapour would be laced with all sorts of different scents and flavours, and all sorts of different psychotropic drugs. The future wasn’t just going to be a bit smoky in the way that some pubs occasionally used to be: it was going to be super-densely smoggy. Firefighters would arrive wearing breathing equipment and carrying powerful torches to find their way to people who had got lost in the middle of a dance floor. I had seen the future in the car park.
A similar inkling this morning came from reading somewhere that outraged smokers in Malta or Cyprus or somewhere were demanding that tobacconists re-package tobacco to conceal the disgusting pictures that they were now being covered with. I’m not sure of the details, but the tobacconists were now providing their own packaging. And why not? Is Tobacco Control going to demand laws against re-packaging tobacco?
The inkling grew from realising that the disgust of smokers at the obscene images on the packages was undoubtedly going to be shared by any non-smoker who saw them. Tobacco Control was going to make not just smokers feel disgust, but everybody else as well. And at whom would that disgust be directed? Not the smokers on whom these images were being inflicted, nor the tobacco companies that printed them, but on the Tobacco Control zealots who had forced these pictures upon them. For with these obscene images, Tobacco Control is advertising its own sickness.
TC is like some artist who fills a gallery with images of his own vomit so disgusting that anyone who goes into it leaves shortly afterwards, retching. Such images reflect far more upon the artist who creates them than any gallery visitor who views them. But TC’s art gallery is not just one room in a building: TC’s art gallery is the whole world. They are painting their filthy pictures over the whole world. And everyone will see those pictures, and everyone is going to be revolted, and they are going to be revolted by the nightmare stream of ugliness pissed out by Tobacco Control:
It will all come back on them, in a wave of revulsion at what they are doing. They will be hoist by their own petard.