Moral Archaeology

It’s become something of a commonplace these days to remark that Tobacco Control is not engaged in improving public health. In the first place, once smokers were “exiled to the outdoors”, it became more likely that they would die of exposure or injuries sustained in the outdoor environment. And in the second place, once smokers were driven into exile, they no longer had a community of helping hands surrounding them, to catch them when they fell. And in the third place, when medical assistance was withheld from them, they very likely died much more quickly than their more fortunate non-smoking compatriots. Add up all the increased dangers, over and above those – if any – of simply smoking, and one should expect to find that “smokers die younger”. The prophecy is self-fulfilling: it is the inevitable consequence of expulsion from society.

But if Tobacco Control isn’t trying to improve public health, what on earth is it really trying to do?

I can think of a number of different possibilities, all of which I have considered at one time or other:

  1. They are engaged in an eugenic social programme, whose goal is to “improve” the human race, by culling unwanted human types. In the past of the Nazi era (and quite possibly still today) these included Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, and such like. And at present the unwanted human types have come to include smokers, drinkers, and fat people. In future, unwanted human types might include chess-players, dog-owners, and statisticians.
  2. They are engaged not so much in an eugenic programme as a programme of top-down social control in which all behaviour is centrally governed in the most minute detail. Their goal is to organise the whole of humanity into an obedient army of slaves.
  3. They are cultural Marxists who have set out to infiltrate all the institutions of Western society, and subvert them from within, before they inaugurate their impending Glorious Revolution.
  4. They are moralists who see certain behaviours – e.g. smoking and drinking – as ethically reprehensible, and have set out to stamp them out in the same way that other ethically unacceptable behaviours – e.g. theft, murder, rape – are suppressed.
  5. They have got rich on the highly successful Tobacco Control Industry, by taxing smokers and drinkers and fat people, and they have no wish to ever get poor.

Of these various different possibilities, the first is perhaps the most likely, and the last the least likely. The first is most likely because there has already been a long history of eugenic programmes throughout the 20th century, and what we are seeing is their continuation in the guise of “Public Health”, after eugenics fell into disrepute after the Nazi era. And the last is least likely because it has only been in the past 20 years or so that Tobacco Control Industry has become a real money-spinner in which people can make lifetime careers: there had to be other motivations other than pecuniary reward that drove the early Tobacco Controllers.

The aim of  the second suggestion of Control, purely for its own sake, is one that is implicit in the name of Tobacco Control. One of the central political conflicts of our time is between grass-root, bottom-up populism and planned, top-down administration (in, for example, the EU). The Controllers see freedom as antithetical to any sort of ordered, efficient, planned, administered society. So freedom, in all its forms, will have to go.

Cultural Marxism is, like eugenics, the continuation of one of the major political creeds of the 20th century: Communism or socialism. The aim here is to subvert free-market capitalism, and replace it with a centrally-planned, regulated economy along the lines of the old Soviet Union. Come the Revolution, we will all be equal comrades in a socialist paradise.

But at the moment it’s the fourth suggestion – that the war on smoking is a moral campaign, of good against evil – that seems most plausible, because it has far more ancient historical and religious roots than any of the others. After all, both eugenics and Marxism are relative newcomers on the scene, with barely 100 years of shared history to their names. They’re both thoroughly modern ideas.

The late Richard Webster, whose essays I’ve begun re-reading, saw much of current, modern, secular thinking as rooted in Christian theology:

If we are to appreciate the immense significance of the invisible moral theology which still underlies the thought of many of the most influential secular thinkers in the twentieth century, then we must first reconstruct that theology in its original form.

He goes on:

Right at the very heart of Christian psychology there lies the issue of the relationship between the flesh and the spirit – between the animal body of men and women and their supposedly immortal and non-animal soul. In view of the nature of Christian doctrine, this relationship could not be seen as anything other than a profoundly moral one. In one succinct formulation of Christian orthodoxy the function of the ‘mind’ or ‘soul’ was to act as ‘God’s viceroy’ in man. By disciplining and subjugating the unruly desires and appetites of the flesh, it would, in an ideal world, force man to behave in a way that constantly reflected his inward spiritual nature. Reason would play its proper role of chastising concupiscence, and by chastising it, would make men and women chaste.

Here “concupiscence” doesn’t merely mean sexual desire, but also includes gluttony, sloth, and sinfulness in general. And concupiscence now of course also includes smoking, drinking, and eating cheeseburgers as “unruly desires and appetites of the flesh” to be “disciplined and subjugated”. The Tobacco Controllers are some species of Jesuits, or perhaps Calvinists. A mere 100 years ago, the war on alcohol and tobacco was launched by the Christian Temperance movement, using overtly religious justifications. That those religious justifications are no longer overt, and are disguised behind “Public Health” and epidemiological statistics, does not mean that the underlying religious impulse has evaporated. The real complaint of the moral taskmasters in Tobacco Control is that we smokers and drinkers and cheeseburger-eaters are failing to discipline and subjugate our unruly desires and appetites in conformity with our inward spiritual nature. We are, they frequently complain, failing to exert “self-control” over ourselves every time we light up, and accordingly failing to measure up to our divine inward nature.

I put up all these various suggestions because I feel that one or other of them must explain the true motivations behind Tobacco Control. Although it may well be that Tobacco Control consists of a confection of eugenicists, control freaks, cultural Marxists, Christian fundamentalists, and ordinary garden gold-diggers, and that all the motivations I have suggested are in play in one degree or other. And it may also be that the Tobacco Controllers have no real understanding of their own motivations in pursuing their war on tobacco. For I have yet to read any Tobacco Control document that sets out any coherent moral or political or economic justification of that war, and so it’s perfectly possible that there isn’t one – and that it is the job of moral archaeologists to unearth and explain it to them.


About Frank Davis

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44 Responses to Moral Archaeology

  1. Timothy Goodacre says:

    Your last paragraph Frank exactly accords with my view of who these nasty Tobacco Control freaks are.

  2. Steven says:

    Just sidetracking slightly.I noticed on the BBC website that the oldest person has just died.Mbah Ghoto from Indonesia has died aged 146.He was a heavy smoker until the end.any comments from the anti smoking brigade?

    • Frank Davis says:

      A heavy smoker until the end, he outlived four wives, 10 siblings and all his children.

    • Joe L. says:

      Just imagine how long he could have lived if he hadn’t died a premature smoking-related death!

      Assuming he started smoking very late, at 46 years old, and smoked 20 cigarettes a day for 100 years. Also assuming one cigarette takes an average of 7 minutes off one’s life (that’s modest — I believe the Antis are now claiming 10 minutes per cigarette), he would have lived a whole

      7 * 20 * 365 * 100 / 60 / 24 / 365 = 9.72 years longer.

      That’s right, folks. This man would have lived to to see his 155th birthday if it wasn’t for his disgusting addiction to tobacco. And what about the chiiiiiildren? Oh, yeah, they all died before he did.

      I’m pretty sure the Antis are gonna pretend that this man never existed.

  3. Lecroix says:

    Reblogged this on Contra la ley "antitabaco".

  4. Joe Jackson says:

    I think all five of your points have merit. Just wanted to point out that if it’s true that only in the last couple of decades has it been possible to make pretty good money being part of Tobacco Control, it’s also true that it’s over the last couple of decades that TC has really turned into a monster, as all the really nasty people have climbed on board the bandwagon. Also purely opportunistic people. I was shocked to find out recently that a guy I know, who is still a smoker, now has a job as a ‘smoking cessation officer’. He just needed a job. I think that if or when the money stars drying up, TC will significantly wither away.

    Also I think another big motivation is a snobbish and authoritarian desire to have some kind of stigmatised or scapegoated group in society, who it’s OK to push around and feel superior to (as opposed to ‘saving’ or ‘improving’ them – I don’t think it’s necessarily that moralistic). I think that desire for an ‘underdog’ to kick around, is always there, and it’s become unacceptable to bully people for being black, gay, Jewish, etc etc – at the moment the ‘unhealthy’ and particularly smokers, are about all that’s left. I’d bet anything that when this antismoker madness eventually goes away, it will be someone else’s turn.

    I also think part of antismoking is purely fashion – people jumping on the bandwagon. But the fact that there are so many explanations for antismoking, all of which may be true, also explains why it has become so big and seemingly invincible. It pushes a lot of buttons that a lot of people currently want pressed . . .

    • Frank Davis says:

      it’s also true that it’s over the last couple of decades that TC has really turned into a monster, as all the really nasty people have climbed on board the bandwagon.

      I think there was always money in TC, just not the pots of it there is now. After all, Sir Richard Doll did pretty well out of it for several decades. And was he a ‘good guy’ unlike ‘all the really nasty people’? I tend to tar them all with the same brush: I think they’re all just as bad as each other, pretty much.

      another big motivation is a snobbish and authoritarian desire to have some kind of stigmatised or scapegoated group in society,

      Good point. Emily Wieja was making that exact point to me in conversation recently. I suppose it’s one I tend to forget, because it’s something I don’t really understand, except in the sense that putting other people down tends to make people feel relatively superior. But why does anyone want to feel superior?


      Well, yes. But that’s another strange one.

      I might add that these things seem to come in cycles. There seems to be an upsurge in puritanism every 70 or 80 years.

      • Vlad says:

        I think there’s at least a slight difference between Doll and Glantz. LOL

        • Rose says:

          Yes, it seems that Glantz makes things up to suit his agenda and Doll covered things up to get government and industry off the hook for compensation payments.

          Just some of his activities.

          Chemical firm ‘paid cancer pioneer’

          “The reputation of Prof Sir Richard Doll, one of Britain’s finest post-war scientists, was under siege yesterday.
          Sir Richard, who first definitively linked smoking to lung cancer, conducted much of his research while in the pay of chemical companies.
          “The American Journal of Industrial Medicine says that Swedish researchers have found that Sir Richard, who also co-wrote a famous paper minimising the role of chemicals in causing cancer, failed to disclose that he was being paid at the time by the chemical company Monsanto.

          From 1970 to 1990, Sir Richard, who died last year, was paid up to £1,000 a day as a consultant by Monsanto, now associated with GM crops rather than chemicals.
          He conducted research into Agent Orange, the Monsanto herbicide which became infamous when the US used it in the Vietnam War.

          During that period, he wrote to an Australian commission investigating its effects on humans and argued that there was no evidence that Agent Orange caused cancer. It was withdrawn in 1971 because it caused birth defects in laboratory animals. It affected a generation of Vietnamese children who suffered skin cancers and deformities.

          Sir Richard was also paid £15,000 by the Chemical Manufacturers’ Association, Dow Chemicals and ICI to review vinyl chloride, used in plastics. He largely cleared it of any link with cancers apart from liver cancer. These findings were later challenged.”

          “However, over subsequent decades, Doll drastically changed his views and gradually emerged as a major defender of corporate industry interests,” he says. Sir Richard “trivialised or dismissed industrial causes of cancer which he predominantly attributed to faulty lifestyle, particularly smoking”.

          Sir Richard has also been attacked for his decades-long relationship with the asbestos company Turner & Newall.
          In 1982, he told workers worried about dying from cancer that the risk had been cut to “a pretty outside chance” of one in 40. This was regarded, in fact, as a rather high chance.

          He also refused to testify for dying plaintiffs or their families in civil litigation against the asbestos industry.
          Later, he admitted that Turner & Newall had given £50,000 to Green College, Oxford, which he founded.”

        • Rose says:

          Richard Doll ensured that unlike other governments, our government didn’t have to pay compensation to the nuclear Bomb Test Veterans, by blaming their smoking habits.

          A summary of mortality and incidence of cancer in men from the United Kingdom who participated in the United Kingdom’s atmospheric nuclear weapon tests and experimental programmes

          “Most of the differences observed between the participants and controls were interpreted as due to chance, but some may be due to differences in smoking habits”

          Forgotten victims of Britain’s nuclear tests on Christmas Island
          2 Feb 2014
          “No compensation for British servicemen exposed to nuclear explosions around Australia and the Pacific in the 1950s and ’60s”

          “The US, which carried out nuclear tests alongside British forces on Christmas Island and elsewhere, has set aside £80 million to provide health care and assistance to its nuclear veterans. It awards former servicemen a lump sum of $79,000 (£47,800), and a second payment of the same amount for secondary, related illnesses, as well as free health care.

          France has set aside almost €10 million (£8.5 million), and grants veterans an average lump sum equivalent to around £47,000. Australia has pledged £90 million over 20 years, which is given to veterans, their spouses and dependent children.

          This state of affairs has created many apparent inconsistencies. In 2010, the widow of Pat Spackman, a British airman who contracted fatal throat cancer after flying through radioactive mushroom clouds, was awarded £47,800 by the US Department of Justice.
          Britain, meanwhile, denied that the cancer was conclusively caused by radiation and refused her a war widow’s pension.”

          “Indeed, the MoD has spent more than £4 million blocking legal claims brought by hundreds of nuclear veterans and their families.”

    • Emily Wieja says:

      “…who it’s OK to push around and feel superior to (as opposed to ‘saving’ or ‘improving’ them – I don’t think it’s necessarily that moralistic).”

      I had a conversation with a woman some time ago who mentioned something similar, that acquaintances would nag her about her smoking and say they were “just worried about her health.” Her response was that there is something inherently suspect about that – do near-strangers really care about her health? There’s definitely something else behind it that is not necessarily altruistic.

      • margo says:

        I think this is an interesting and important little point, Emily. Perhaps the feeling behind it is something like, “I need you to be my kind of person, having my concerns and agreeing with me.” It’s the feeling I have in reverse when I’m in a group and spot someone sneaking out for a smoke: Ah, there’s someone I want to talk to, someone I’ll feel OK with.
        Is that it?

        • Emily Wieja says:

          Yes, I think there is an element of that in it. I think the current anti-smoking climate also has a large element of the herd mentality to it, that people want to blend in and not be “different.” So that others will try to make you follow the herd and be like them.

  5. Rose says:

    And it may also be that the Tobacco Controllers have no real understanding of their own motivations in pursuing their war on tobacco. For I have yet to read any Tobacco Control document that sets out any coherent moral or political or economic justification of that war, and so it’s perfectly possible that there isn’t one – and that it is the job of moral archaeologists to unearth and explain it to them

    I was thinking about that this very morning. We know that the original objections were on religious grounds, objections not shared by Elizabeth 1, and continued into the 50’s and possibly beyond.

    “Ernst Wynder: ”Wynder’s father was a violent anti-tobacco man and Wynder has had this drummed into him from the moment he was born. Wynder has a complex on tobacco.”

    “He is a young man ‘far gone in enthusiasm’ for the causal relationship between tobacco smoking and lung cancer. (I had been told when I was in New York this spring that he was the son of a revivalist preacher and had inherited his father’s antipathy to tobacco and alcohol.)”

    Like the earlier religious objections to putting nicotinic acid/niacin in the bread to prevent the vitamin deficiency disease Pellagra, because it might foster cigarette smoking.
    They would rather that people die and that’s some strong conviction that smoking was a sin.

    I was wondering when the disconnect between the moral arguments against smoking and the rise of pseudoscience to achieve the same aims began.
    I’d hazard a guess around 1975 and Godber’s secondhand smoke.

  6. nisakiman says:

    I’d be inclined to think also that it’s a combination of all the points you make, Frank.

    I also think that Joe makes a valid point insofar as there always seems to have been one minority group or other that people love to hate, and particularly when the state sanctions the bullying, there are many who will enthusiastically join in with the communal kick-fest because it’s both empowering and it reinforces the sense of righteousness, as in “I’m on the side of the Gods helping to vanquish the heathen”.

    It definitely has become a quasi-religious crusade, where doctrine trumps any truth or reality.

  7. Rose says:


    Frank, while I was looking for those Wynder quotes on your blog this morning, I found more posts from Harley and it occured to me, as this happens daily, I could collect suitable ones for inside some kind of “In Memorium” on the sidebar for Harley.

    They can be quite autobiographical.

    When Did You Start Smoking Regularly?
    May 15, 2015

    Harleyrider 1978 says
    “21 right at it……………military. Maybe that’s why im so intent on destroying the enemy.”

    “My brother his wife my sisters and even their friends all started smoking at 13 or 14. My brother was in 9th grade I even got in a fight in uniform at my brothers high school over a smoking row,saying he wasn’t using the approved smoking area for students then in 1983.

    We were leaving after seeing the principle and got it straightened out. Then it was a PE coach mr big bad tough shit always throwing his weight around that was on my brothers ass all the time and the same who started the smoking rowe to start with and why I was there. I handed my brother a smoke just as we got to the front door leaving and that asshole comes around and grabs my brothers arm and starts to grab his smoke and I went balls to the walls on his fat ass. I punched him knocked him to the ground and bashed his ass everyway I could til he begged for me to stop…….

    Needless to say the cops weren’t any to friendly but admitted he started it by physically touching my brother a minor with intent after running his mouth first and then grabbing him and trying for his smoke…………..

    Anyhow that was his last day ever in school a 9th grade drop out still smoking making 250 grand a year from his inventory business……….

    All I got was the satisfaction of my first fight with a NAZI……..”

  8. Lisboeta says:

    I think a naked desire for power has a lot to do with it. It drives many people in professions that, on the face of it, have altruistic ends. If, in turn, that also begets a healthy salary from the public purse, what’s not to like? The Tobacco Control model is being applied to our food and drink. When they’ve pushed that as far as feasible without actually killing us, I wonder what they will brazenly attack next? Music, dancing, theatre, holidays* … sex?
    * the thin end of that wedge is already upon us.

    • Rose says:

      Sometimes when something goes glaringly wrong with the system, you finally see a pattern and another massive but unseen industry appears as an off-shoot of the old.

      Fear of Cancer seems to have taken over the place of Fear of Hell in controlling the population and you can get at least some of them to do whatever you suggest out of sheer terror.

      Rogue surgeon convicted of performing needless operations for money
      28 April 2017

      “Victims have spoken out after a rogue surgeon carried out “completely unnecessary” operations on men and women after convincing them they were at high risk of breast cancer has been convicted on all charges.
      Ian Paterson lied to his victims, “exaggerating or quite simply inventing the risk of cancer” in order to claim extra money for carrying out the private procedures.
      He left patients “significantly deformed”, with one looking like a “car crash victim” after telling them they were at risk from cancer when they were healthy.”

      How victims thought Ian Paterson was saint in white coat
      By Martin Evans and Katie Morley

      “With his convincing bedside manner and “god-like” status on the wards, Ian Paterson was able to manipulate his patients’ worst fears about cancer, persuading them to undergo whatever treatment or surgery he suggested.

      Such was his reputation that concerned women across the West Midlands, and even further afield, would seek him out. Patients described how they borrowed thousands of pounds to fund operations after he told them their lives depended on it.”

      I see great similarities between the methods of the surgeon and TC.


      Breast cancer screening resulting in ‘unnecessary treatment’
      3 Apr 2012

      “For every woman whose life is saved by breast cancer screening, up to 10 undergo unnecessary treatment, including surgery and radiotherapy, according to another study that casts doubt on mammography.

      “Norwegian researchers believe routine screening is resulting in widespread ‘overdiagnosis’ of breast cancer – identifying benign cancers that would never cause symptoms, spread, or result in death.
      The problem could also get worse, not better, as screening technology improves, according to doctors writing in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
      The research is the latest to question the majority view that the benefits of screening far outweigh its harms.”
      http: //

      Do as I do, think about cancer before you have a glass of wine, says chief medical officer
      2 Feb 2016

      “Do as I do when I reach for my glass of wine – think ‘Do I want the glass of wine or do I want to raise my own risk of breast cancer?’ she told MPs.”
      http: //

      Having followed the Lalonde Doctrine for so long (missing out the inconvenient bits, like the human immune system) it appears that some areas of Public Health may have lost all grip on reason.

      “The spirit of enquiry and skepticism, and particularly the Scientific Method,so essential to research, are, however, a problem in health promotion.
      The reason for this is that science is full of “ifs”, “buts”, and “maybes” while messages designed to influence the public must be loud, clear and unequivocal.”

      These days they most definitly are loud , clear and unequivocal, but not necessarily accurate or even proportionate.

      Scottish sugar consumption leads to cancer warning
      3 March 2017

      “A new study by Cancer Research UK found that more than a third of Scots ate confectionary at least once a day.It warned that being overweight was the single biggest cause of preventable cancer after smoking.”
      “Thirteen types of cancer, including bowel, breast and pancreatic, are linked to a person’s weight, according to Cancer Research UK.”
      http: //

      • Joe L. says:

        Fear of Cancer seems to have taken over the place of Fear of Hell in controlling the population and you can get at least some of them to do whatever you suggest out of sheer terror.

        I agree, Rose. In fact, I think you can take this a step further:

        As Western Societies have become more “Progressive” and thus more secular over the past few decades, the fear of death in general has supplanted the fear of Hell.

        I believe the new religion of ‘Healthism’ has arisen in replacement of traditional organized religions because death is inevitable, but humans will always have trouble accepting the permanence of it. With no afterlife to achieve, however, death is simply the end, so now the goal has become to live as long as possible.

        While I have never been a fan of organized religion because organization breeds corruption, I at least respect those whose individual faith promotes good will toward fellow man.

        Healthism is selfish, materialistic and hedonistic. It very much resembles Satanism. There is no altruistic goal. Anything that resembles altruism is a lie and an excuse to control others for one’s personal benefit.

  9. Rhys says:

    I think the motivations are a mix of what you wrote, Frank. Carl Phillips, I believe, said that the smart people in TC know that the second-hand smoke malarkey is just that. But most of the rank and file and most of the public don’t.

    We’ve all read about or heard to our faces how we’re witches consorting with the demon tabac. Murderers, killers of babies, it’s bad enough that smoke would give non-smokers a heart attack in half an hour, now we’re told that the merest whiff will alter their DNA and cause them to have mutant children. Tobacco smoke, as we know, is alive, sentient, and evil, which is how and why it goes through the wall from your flat and down four stories to attack the apartment with sick people or pregnant women or infants.

    The longer it goes on, the crazier the stories get. I can’t believe that anybody could believe these things, but they do. Probably because of all the terrorism and even brainwashing from TC. That isn’t quite it, or at least not all of it, and I’m sorry for the ramble because it hasn’t quite all coalesced in my own mind yet. People are scared. The world will never be completely safe. Public Health, et al seem to be trying to create a risk-free world – or are they? Because every day there are five new formerly innocuous things that’ll kill you, at least according to them. And a risk-free world is a project that’s doomed to failure, but how far into Hell will they drag us before we wake up?

    It’s also religious because most normal religions are considered to be fit only for simpletons now. The new ‘rational man’ is a fervent believer in the Cult of the Body. And it’s not just smoking. It’s the sugar, and salt, and the CO2, all of which happen to be *essential to life*. Except they’re telling us that we need to be rid of all these things, because then, if we do it right, if we give up all pleasures, even a lot of necessary things, we will become immortals.

    At least it’s all I can think when they start ranting about the new evil of roast potatoes or having a sit-down job, or getting some sun, or not getting any sun. You can’t win.

    Again, apologies for ranting. Does it occur to anyone else – and I am speculating here, not pronouncing – that when the new humanism tossed religion, it threw the baby right out with the bathwater? That this moral insanity of purity is taking its place? And doing a horrible job of it. But hey – it’s something to hold onto, I guess.

    Nature abhors a vacuum and all that.

    Hatred for groups of people hasn’t really gone away, either, it’s just kind of shifted. I’m Jewish and many, many folks tell me that they don’t hate Jews – they just hate Israel and those oppressive folks who live there and secretly control the world with their cousins and connections everywhere doing their dirty work. Okay…

    Bill C-16 just passed in Canada. Long and the short, it’s now a hate crime to hurt someone’s feelings by calling them ‘sir’ if they feel like a ‘ma’am’ that day or you forgot their new pronoun. And a couple of universities have been having confessionals for white guys, cos you know – masculinity is toxic, and it has to be unlearned, and white folks – it’s okay to hate them for the oppressors that they are.

    I think I’ve probably gone mad. I fear the world has done the same. Mostly just wishing that someone would wake me up and tell me it’s all a bad dream.

    • Vlad says:

      I’d say that the new ‘rational man’ is a believer in the religion of data, statistics and ‘experts’. He or she fancy themselves as science people, as opposed to those poor folk who still follow outdated religious customs. The funny thing is that they’re actually more irrational than those they look down upon. I think it’s also a more dangerous religion than Christianity for instance. Because by unquestioningly listening to ‘experts’ they line up like sheep to all sorts of potentially dangerous and unproven medical procedures (mammography, hpv vaccine and others) thus becoming lifelong clients of the Sickness Industry.

    • Joe L. says:

      You haven’t gone mad, Rhys. It’s the world around us.

      Here’s a great quote from Aldous Huxley regarding normalcy and mental illness. Added bonus: he’s smoking a cigarette in the photo:

  10. Barry Homan says:

    I’ll just throw this in, not really expecting a comment on it. You left out that the anti-smoker is jealous. Jealous and lonely.

    When an anti-smoker tells all smokers in a room to “clear out”, they all clear out, and take their smoking outside – leaving the anti alone by himself.

    So eventually he follows them outside, and again. “Clear out, move away from the entrance!” They move down a ways, leaving the anti alone again.

    Here he comes again, “Clear out, no smoking withing a hundred yards oof the door!” The smokers retreat to the privacy of their cars. Anti is alone, again.

    Smokers forced out of the parking lot, to smoke in their homes. Anti is alone. Again. NOW what does he do?

    You see this pattern all the time. The anti-smoker always seems to follow the smoker.
    The smoker never, ever follows the anti.

    What does this say about such a person?

    • smokingscot says:


      In my experience it’s never one on one. The closest I got to that was a female who asked a waiter in a (smoking allowed) restaurant to ask me to stub out my cigarette. The waiter refused to do so.

      My point is they do this through politicians (who pass their laws – frequently drafted by them) and then get others to enforce those laws.

      There is evidence – very obvious evidence – of one-upmanship, with Britain being terribly proud they got full blown plain packs, while those on the continent have – for the moment – had to compromise and allow up to 25% of the pack to carry branding.

      And of course there’s the herd mentality (driven by FCTC that legitimises all these laws) and pack mentality (hence the need for their bi-annual COPD).

      You ask “What does this say about such a person?”

      Individually they’re entirely forgettable. You could pass a whole army of them on the street and they’re just your very average person.

      As a group they wield enormous power and influence, without any accountability whatsoever. That’s terribly dangerous and is one thing that an open democratic society seeks to stop.

      They also control very large budgets and that in turn increases their clout, especially with the media. Bear in mind this is an interconnected organisation that includes ostensibly reputable charities like Cancer Research UK as well as the British Heart and British Lung Foundations. And between them they produce a huge chunk of all adverts we see on television as well as in the newspapers.

      Inevitably they had to get involved in politics. Up front, in your face – and that’s exactly what Glantz did in California. For his efforts he’s been awarded a tax hike on tobacco products and an ongoing budget that exceeds that of a number of third world countries. So yes the idea is to spread the message, which is why Stanton himself winged it to London to try to influence the ban on smoking in terraces and outdoor areas.

      And of course we have our own case of “our” Andrew Black pledging £15 million over five years to the WHO to spread the message to third world countries.

      So how would I describe them? Opportunistic, cowardly, parasites. And very dangerous ones at that because you’ve got people with the money this lot has to spend pretty well as they wish. Yet without the training, (intelligence), responsibility or accountability of a public servant then yes you get excesses – as well as wilful squandering of funds that could be put to far better use.

      I prefer at this point to skip over the details and simply mention their utter lack of scruples, hence the fake polls, fake surveys, fake studies and outright lies. Stuff that in any other profession would result in dismissal and very possibly a jail sentence.

  11. Richard says:

    Good piece. My opinion is that it’s the same desire for micro-management that characterises workplace psychopaths ie. bullying bosses.
    They get a kick from ordering people around and making them unhappy.

    • Rhys says:

      I’m sure there are a lot of people in tobacco control who are like that, but it’s more insidious. The psychopathic boss doesn’t want to infantilise you. Public Health/TC does. They want us to know – and not just smokers – that we’re incapable of directing our own lives. We don’t have the competence, or the information, to do that. So we must look to our new Guardians of Society to tell us what to think, what to do.

      Which is a whole other level of power madness.

  12. waltc says:

    All of your points plus Joe Jackson’s and Rose’s about Fear of Cancer. (Something for Everyone –Different Strokes etc.) As I mentioned yesterday in talking about the NYC council, the desire to pass the kick needs to invent a kickee and exploiting tribalism almost never fails.

    But something else that verges on conspiracy theory (that I’m not usually prone to) has also crossed my mind: that the tobacco controllers are themselves just a gaggle of unwittingly puppets in a larger and grander Punch and Judy show. An in vivo experiment in social control that could have picked anything at all as its first target.

    I’ve mentioned this before but in the early stages of Nazism, psychologists were asked to perform an experiment to assess how easily the average German would bow to Authority and blindly “obey orders” no matter how irrational. Signs were put up on all street corner phonebooths within a fairly wide swath of the town’s main drag. Some said Women Only, others were for Men. And though people cocked their heads, everyone–except for a French female tourist– complied with those signs. And thus Hitler knew (the point of the experiment) that he could mold the population and get away with anything, no matter how illogical or counter to tradition.

    And for more on that notion, see the Milgram experiment where Authority bred sadism in ordinary folks.

    IOW, one could speculate that anti-smokerism is just the first experiment–testing the waters– for a broader program of something not far from Orwellian control.

    I’m not at all sure that I’m ready to believe something quite that woo-woo, but it HAS crossed my mind. But then picking out something as minor and inconsequential as smoking as a reason for warfare seems woo-woo too.

    • waltc says:

      And not btw, the commercials now running in NYC that show a guy smoking and actual funky smoke rising through his ceiling and surrounding the cradle of the baby in another apartment upstairs is a direct (I mean almost shot for shot) ripoff of the Nazi propaganda films heralding the danger of living beside Jews.

      • Rhys says:

        And I’m sure they think those adverts are just fine, Walt. The more I see of it…. I’m not usually a conspiracy theorist either, but…I’d feel a WHOLE lot better if this thing hadn’t been being played out all along as if Goebbels were in charge of it.

        • waltc says:

          The process is eerily similar. Jews fired from jobs, barred from universities, evicted from apartments in Aryan buildings, barred from “public places ” like restaurants etc, barred from public parks, not allowed to sit on any public outdoor bench, or to walk on public sidewalks. We approach even the latter when it comes to those “50 feet away from any building” which leaves only the gutter or what I’ve come to call the “go play in traffic” laws. And of course the incessant “studies” and propaganda.

          I think I first came to Frank’s attention when years ago I posted this on another site:

          Quote: Hans Frank, Nazi governor of occupied Poland, April 1940:

          ” It is unacceptable that representatives of the Reich should be obliged to meet Jews when they enter or leave the house and are, in this way, liable to infection from epidemics.” [Result: the Warsaw Ghetto].

          Quote: Joseph Goebbles, Reich Minister of Propaganda, August 1941

          ” The Jews have always been carriers of infectious disease.They should either be concentrated in a ghetto and left to themselves or liquidated, for otherwise they will infect the population.”

        • Frank Davis says:

          It’s eerily similar because it’s essentially the same.

  13. prog says:

    How ya getting on with your new-fangled lighter Frank?

  14. Dmitri says:

    I’d go along with your points 2 & 4. At least because it’s always an illusion to think that what people do is mostly for money. That’s too easy. I’ve seen a lot of people who’d pay their own money to spread evil.
    Now, religion is closer to the mark. Try your Puritans, taking over England, harassing it and been kicked out to the future US (and lurk there, and reawake all the time). I wrote a column about it recently, but it wasn’t exactly about the TC. It was mostly about ISIS. My idea is that religions all too often give birth to an ugly Alien From Outta Space, they explode out of the hosts’ body. Try to compare TC, Puritans and ISIS, and let’s see what your conclusions will be. Mine is, that’s its a constant danger for any human society at any given moment. The goal for humanity is to learn to fight and prevent that danger, as in finding an educational vaccine for it.
    Any philosophers in the house, to chew on that? But then, I’ve already called Frank a prominent philosopher of our times.

    • Rose says:

      A letter from Murray Jarvik discussing this very thing, many years later he invented the nicotine patch.

      Re: Possible Virtues of Cigarette Smoking
      Alexander Holtzman Albert Einstein College Of Medicine
      Yeshiva University
      December 24, 1964
      47 Plaza Street
      Brooklyn,New York

      “Dear Hr. Holtzman

      I have decided to sent you my latest thoughts on possible virtues of cigarette smoking in the form of a letter because I feel this form is less formal than a separate presentation and I feel less inhibited.
      As I see it all of the emphasis during the past few years has been on the dangers of smoking and practically nobody has been interested in studying the beneficial effects.
      It may be because this is harder to do, but it also stems,I believe from the interests of special groups.

      The American Cancer Society is interested in cancer and the American Heart Association is interested in cardiovascular disease and, rather naturally, they tend to be rather narrow in their interest in a problem.
      The Public Health Service Commission on Smoking and Health was primarily concerned with physical health and that is why they devoted less than two pages to the psychological effects of smoking in their recent report.”

      “Many drugs produce a very strong dependance but the physiological basis of this tendency is still unexplained.
      Examples are potent analgesics ( e.g. morphine, heroin, peperidine ) or sedative hypnotic drugs ( e.g. alcohol, barbiturates ).
      A direct effect of these agents upon the brain is a certainty.

      It is interesting that the use of these agents has been severely condemned by groups and individuals. Prohibitionists actually succeeded in outlawing the sale and production of alcoholic beverages for a while.
      It is difficult to know whether the movement was motivated by a concern for health or for moral righteousness.

      Much of the fervour for restricting pleasurable activities can be traced to antiquity and has been interpreted as a form of sado-masochism by psychiatrists.”

      Well worth reading the whole thing.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I’m a bit surprised that you don’t go along with items 1 and 3. But then I suspect that eugenics may not have enjoyed much currency in Russia after the Russian revolution in 1917. It was probably strongly associated with Nazism.

      Equally, are there any Cultural Marxists in contemporary Russia? In fact, are there even any Marxists? In the West, Cultural Marxists set out to make the West into a new Soviet Union, by infiltrating all the cultural institutions. In the Soviet Union, no such infiltration was necessary, and so there was no need for Cultural Marxism.

      And I’m not sure about capital-P Puritans (we’ll get Stephen Helfer complaining). They are remembered in Britain as small-p puritans. We still have plenty of them, and those in TC have been applauding the bloodthirsty anti-smoking campaigns of ISIS. And they are indeed a constant threat.

  15. Clicky says:

  16. Smoking Lamp says:

    I agree with many–if not all–of the points made by Frank and the others. Tobacco control (and its lifestyle control cousins) ironically have multi-factoral causes. I wonder though why so much global political capital is being expended to impose smoking bans and incremental prohibition on nations (and sun-national regions in federal states)?

    A case in point is the current situation in Japan where the WHO and IOC is teaming up to force smoking bans before the next Olympic Games. See: “Tokyo struggles with smoking ban ahead of Olympics” at

    • Joe L. says:

      Good point, SL. I would like to know why the IOC has been so concerned with forcing major cities to implement comprehensive smoking bans in recent years. It would be one thing if their intention was to make all Olympic venues non-smoking, but what do they have to gain by pressuring cities to pass legislation to ban smoking in restaurants, bars, parks and other public spaces that have no affiliation whatsoever with Olympic events? And what right do they have to do so? And why is the WHO so closely involved???

      It certainly can’t be financial in nature. Millions of people are still going to flock to these host cities to witness the Olympics whether or not some pub or diner four miles away from the Olympic Village has a smoking section.

      If the IOC was so unhappy with the abundance of smoking in Tokyo, why did they not simply choose a different city — one that already has comprehensive smoking bans in place — to host the next Summer Games? There are plenty out there. Tokyo would be the big financial loser in this situation, not the IOC.

      Has the IOC (which is obviously a global organization) become nothing more than a tool of the UN/WHO to help them further Globalist agendas? Let us not forget the IOC has also been pushing climate change propaganda.

      • margo says:

        And why is the IOC allowing the Olympics to take place in a city riddled by radioactivity from Fukushima? Sorry I can’t provide links, but they are ‘out there’. And is the agitation about smoking connected with this?

  17. RdM says:

    “Cultural Marxism is, like eugenics, the continuation of one of the major political creeds of the 20th century: Communism or socialism. The aim here is to subvert free-market capitalism, and replace it with a centrally-planned, regulated economy along the lines of the old Soviet Union. Come the Revolution, we will all be equal comrades in a socialist paradise.

    But at the moment it’s the fourth suggestion – that the war on smoking is a moral campaign, of good against evil – that seems most plausible, because it has far more ancient historical and religious roots than any of the others. After all, both eugenics and Marxism are relative newcomers on the scene, with barely 100 years of shared history to their names. They’re both thoroughly modern ideas.”

    Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn writes in a powerful foreword to
    The Socialist Phenomenon by Igor Shafarevich

    “World socialism as a whole, and all the figures associated with it, are shrouded in legend; its contradictions are forgotten or concealed; it does not respond to arguments but continually ignores them–all this stems from the mist of irrationality that surrounds socialism and from its instinctive aversion to scientific analysis, features which the author of this volume points out repeatedly and in many contexts. The doctrines of socialism seethe with contradictions, its theories are at constant odds with its practice, yet due to a powerful instinct–also laid bare by Shafarevich–these contradictions do not in the least hinder the unending propaganda of socialism. Indeed, no precise, distinct socialism even exists; instead there is only a vague, rosy notion of something noble and good, of equality, communal ownership, and justice: the advent of these things will bring instant euphoria and a social order beyond reproach.”

    and (the above so much like Tobacco Control, no?) it’s essayed that socialsim is much older than the Marxism version, and still in a perverse way embodies a ‘good vs evil’ argument:

    “Shafarevich points out with great precision both the cause and the genesis of the first socialist doctrines, which he characterizes as reactions: Plato as a reaction to Greek culture, and the Gnostics as a reaction to Christianity. They sought to counteract the endeavor of the human spirit to stand erect, and strove to return to the earthbound existence of the primitive states of antiquity. The author also convincingly demonstrates the diametrical opposition between the concepts of man held by religion and by socialism. Socialism seeks to reduce human personality to its most primitive levels and to extinguish the highest, most complex, and “God-like” aspects of human individuality. And even equality itself, that powerful appeal and great promise of socialists throughout the ages, turns out to signify not equality of rights, of opportunities, and of external conditions, but equality qua identity, equality seen as the movement of variety toward uniformity.

    Even though, as this book shows, socialism has always successfully avoided truly scientific analyses of its essence, Shafarevich’s study challenges present-day theoreticians of socialism to demonstrate their arguments in a businesslike public discussion”

    I encourage one and all to read at least the foreword, and perhaps also work through the book.

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