Smokers and Antismokers Cannot Coexist.

I wonder occasionally what the long term consequences of the War on Smoking are likely to be.

I suppose that Tobacco Control fully expects that one of the long term consequences will be that nobody will smoke tobacco any more, and that cigarettes and cigars and pipes will become antique curiosities from a past age.

But that seems to me to be wishful thinking on their part. It seems to me more likely that tobacco will continue to be smoked at much the same rate as it always has been. In part, this may be because the effect of all these Wars on Drugs always seems to vastly increase the use of them. Marijuana, for example, does not seem to have been a drug in wide use prior to about 1900, but once it became subjected to tight regulation shortly thereafter, it appears that its use began to multiply. By the 1960s, it had become the flagship drug of a new generation. And it is now gradually being legalised in state after state in the USA.

Isn’t exactly the same likely to happen with tobacco? At least one unforeseen consequence of the War on Smoking has been the appearances of new smoking technologies. e.g. vaping. And since there seem to be a number of new smoking technologies being developed (e.g. heat not burn), each with their own avid devotees, it would seem that at least one of the long term consequences will be a vast expansion of the number of ways in which tobacco will be smoked. Instead of there just being cigars and pipes and cigarettes, there will be an army of new attendant products.

Another likely consequence of the War on Smoking, also seen back in the 1960s, will be the appearance of smoking subcultures. For in the 1960s society divided into, on the one hand, the old cigarettes-and-alcohol ‘straight’ culture (which was deeply terrified of all drugs other than tobacco and alcohol) and, on the other hand, the new, semi-secret pot-smoking culture, which had largely lost all its fears about drugs, and happily tried out new ones, with the result that by the 1970s and 80s, lots of completely new drugs (e.g. LSD) were in widespread use.

These subcultures had not just their own variant beliefs about their preferred drugs, but also a whole set of attendant beliefs about everything else as well. (e.g. a disregard for Law and Law Enforcement and authority in general).

One new feature of the current War on (Tobacco) Smoking, which was not present in the 1960s, is a widespread fear of secondhand tobacco smoke. Nobody worried about secondhand smoke of any kind back in the 1960s. And this new feature would seem to ensure that subcultural divisions will be much sharper and deeper in future than they were in the past. For antismokers and smokers cannot coexist with each other.  For the smoky environments that smokers find perfectly acceptable are intolerable to antismokers, and the smoke-free environments that antismokers find perfectly acceptable are intolerable to smokers. Thus smokers and antismokers form two highly mutually exclusive subcultures. And these subcultures are likely to develop separate identities with a whole set of attendant beliefs about a whole set of seemingly unrelated matters. For example, antismokers who are fearful of tobacco smoke are quite likely to be equally fearful of many other forms of ‘smoke’, including vapour from the new vaping devices, exhaust emissions from cars and trucks, and CO2 in the atmosphere. Also, antismokers who heed health warnings issued by the ‘experts’ in Tobacco Control are equally likely to heed health warnings by ‘experts’ in any other field of Public Health, and in any other branch of science whatsoever (e.g. climate science). Conversely, smokers who are unconcerned about ambient tobacco smoke will tend to be unconcerned about other forms of smoke, and increasingly dismissive of ‘experts’ of every kind.

Tobacco Control seems to believe that it can engineer the whole of society to stop smoking. But underlying this belief is a largely unstated supposition that “society” is some sort of monolithic entity whose behaviour and beliefs can be changed, much like a car can be steered in a new direction. But it seems to me that the most likely long term outcome of the War on Smoking will not be any large scale social change, but instead the fragmentation of society into rival subcultures. For “society” is not a monolithic entity. It is always made up of a number of subcultures of one kind or other, most of which can coexist happily enough with each other. There is no obvious reason why men and women, or young and old, or black and white, cannot coexist with each other. But smokers and antismokers cannot coexist. And this is why the currently dominant antismoking subculture of Tobacco Control is trying to completely eradicate all tobacco smoking everywhere, and is always seeking to introduce new smoking bans (e.g. outdoor smoking bans and home smoking bans) once it has succeeded in imposing them elsewhere (public smoking bans). Because the antismokers in Tobacco Control are fully aware that smokers and antismokers cannot coexist with each other, and so have set out to entirely rid the world of smokers, and at the same time retain a single, monolithic “society”.

But the likely outcome is not going to be a single, monolithic, “smoke-free” society, but a fractured society with smokers and antismokers at war with each other. For just as antismokers have set out to eradicate smokers, so smokers are likely to set out to eradicate antismokers. Neither has any choice but to try to eradicate the other.

So one of my predictions for the long term consequences of the War on Smoking is that there will be a gradually intensifying global civil war fought between smokers and antismokers, as each tries to eradicate the other. At present, it’s really only the antismokers who are trying to eradicate the smokers. But the more successful that antismokers are in eradicating smoking, the more likely it is that there will emerge militant pro-smoking activists, in exactly the same way as there have emerged militant women’s and blacks’ and gay rights activists. And the militant smokers will be far more ferocious than any of these activists, because they have far more to lose.

A further likely consequence of the War on Smoking is likely to be the demise (or, more likely reformation) of the medical profession as it currently exists. For the medical profession has clearly been taken over by an antismoking cliique who have actively advocated discrimination against smokers, in the same way that their predecessors once actively sought to discriminate against women, blacks, and homosexuals. It is the medical profession which has launched the War on Smoking. And one of the consequences of the upcoming war between smokers and antismokers will be the purging of the medical profession of all Public Health eugenicists.

But that’s just my guess. And much of it is based upon my own personal experience of the cultural wars on drugs in the 1960s, when I experienced a similar social disintegration to the one I’m experiencing now with the War on Smoking. The principal difference between then and now would seem to be that, back then, peaceful co-existence was possible in ways that it now no longer is.

Which is why I must reiterate that Tobacco Control must be destroyed.

About Frank Davis

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19 Responses to Smokers and Antismokers Cannot Coexist.

  1. RdM says:

    I was quite pleasantly surprised to read this article (& I see links to others in the same vein at end) on boutique cigars, in of all things an audiophile magazine… referencing New York City too:

  2. Tony says:

    A lovely little verse of unknown origin. Presumably written in the aftermath of the last time a UK government tried persecution. James 1st’s twin obsessions were of smoking and witchcraft. He wrote a book about each and ordered the execution of supposed witches. He also executed England’s most famous and popular smoker, Sir Walter Raleigh, although it’s not clear how important a factor smoking was.

    “Sir Walter Raleigh, o name of worth
    How sweet for thee to know
    King James, who never smoked on earth
    Is smoking down below.”

    From William Whitby’s book “The Smoking Scare Debunked”:

  3. Vinny Gracchus says:

    Antismokers attack non-smokers as well as smokers (and vapers) in their quest to impose their will. Tolerant non-smokers are collateral damage in the antismoker assault on liberty. Tobacco Control must be destroyed.

  4. waltc says:

    I just came across a poll that showed 50% of millennials say they’d prefer to live under a communist regime. This is not irrelevant to the topic at hand. It shows a sharp division between the generations, one that’s mostly a product of a widely different kind of “education,” a widely different life experience, and a consequent general shift in the zeitgeist. This leads me to wonder if you (we) aren’t thinking in terms of our experience of smoking (as normal, unfeared, sociable) as opposed to how the new generations are currently experiencing it. What, if anything, do the new (young) smokers have in common with the older ones? How does starting to smoke now differ from starting to smoke back when? Our frame of reference is so different from theirs. Does their generation think of smoking tobacco the way ours thought of weed or, even more radically (and dangerously) acid or later on, coke–as transgressive? Does our willingness/determination to fight for our right to smoke, to be “accepted” as smokers spring from our memories of smoking’s “acceptability”? If so, I have to wonder about the future of the fight, or the cohesiveness of young and future smokers and the older and past ones.

  5. Dmitri says:

    My respect, Frank. Very well written.

  6. Joe Jackson says:

    waltc:If that many millennials think they would prefer to live under Communism, maybe you’re right and it has something to do with generational divide, but I suspect it has more to do with ignorance and immaturity.
    garyk30: I think that teens and twenty-somethings – at least in the UK and USA – are if anything notable for their timidity and LACK of rebellious spirit. They are much more likely to follow authority than us older folks were. Maybe I’m looking at different people to you, but it seems to me that they may play at being rebellious in small ways but their hearts aren’t really in it! They want safety more than challenge or excitement. (Maybe that’s what attracts some to half-baked communism?!)
    Frank: Well said as always. As for young people nowadays taking up smoking, in the UK anyway, it seems to be a class thing. Middle-class/college-educated people tend to be very deferential to ‘health authorities’. Working-class people tend more to follow their parents, or tradition, and to have a more fatalistic attitude, and often a more healthy skepticism (I’ve heard a lot more people saying secondhand smoke is bollocks in working-class pubs than anywhere else).

    The discussion about rebellion is valid (I totally agree about the perverse effects of prohibition of any kind) but we shouldn’t underestimate the desire of many, probably most, people to ‘fit in’. Many people of the 60s generation only went along with the more rebellious elements in order to be trendy or accepted (after all, look how miserable and puritanical a lot of them are now). By the same token many people are going along with antismoking so as not to stand out in the crowd. If or when the pendulum swings back, millions will start smoking again even if they don’t particularly like it!

    • beobrigitte says:

      waltc:If that many millennials think they would prefer to live under Communism, maybe you’re right and it has something to do with generational divide, but I suspect it has more to do with ignorance and immaturity.
      Whilst ignorance and immaturity surely plays a role, dissatisfaction and disenchantment plays another role.
      These youngsters look at a work life driven by “Increased productivity at a reduced cost” until they are 70 +. A lot of these youngsters already have experienced “burnout” and are signed off sick for a long time in which they do not pay into their pension pot, thus retirement is not something to look forward to.

      We all live longer these days. This includes us, the baby boomers. Despite growing up in a smoking society. We pensioners are dissatisfied and disenchanted, too.

    • nisakiman says:

      If that many millennials think they would prefer to live under Communism, maybe you’re right and it has something to do with generational divide, but I suspect it has more to do with ignorance and immaturity.

      Let us not forget the current educational system, which tends to be heavy on socialist indoctrination, starting when the kids are just infants. “Give me the child for the first seven years and I’ll give you the man”, as the saying goes. Even the influence of the parents is overridden once the educational establishment gets its hooks in. And of course along with the political indoctrination comes the social indoctrination, including the feminist agenda and the anti-smoking agenda, to mention just two. All part of our ‘progressive’ PC society which the kids are taught that they must adhere to if they are to become part of acceptable society.

      It’s no wonder we’re seeing a generation of ‘snowflakes’ demanding their ‘safe spaces’ and ‘trigger warnings’. And it’s also no wonder 50% of them are labouring under the delusion that communism is anything other than a brutal and totalitarian system. They obviously don’t teach them history in school any more.

    • waltc says:

      joe: well put and I agree with your analysis, I see both the desire to live under communism and the fear of smoke/ smoking as in a way linked– not so much ignorance per se, but [i]indoctrinated [/i] ignorance–a full immersion in cherry-picked crap and a comfortable group-think that surrounds them on campuses and reassures them in the media. IOW, they’re unlikely to rebel against “The Establishment” because (the joke is) they ARE The Establishment.

  7. Tony says:

    On the issue of people wanting to fit in. A fascinating article about how social isolation can be used control the masses. “The Spiral of Silence” was a book written by a star pupil of Joseph Goebbels, who also became highly influential in post war Germany.
    There’s even this:
    “One can see how, as the spiral of silence runs its course, the standpoint that it is unconscionable to smoke in the presence of non-smokers can become dominant to the point where it is impossible for a smoker publicly to take the opposite position. . . . What is being expressed here is quite evidently a cumulative effect; step by step, through hostile responses of the environment, one becomes unnerved.”
    The context here is the technique of interviewing strangers on trains in order to develop control techniques. Something that was organised in secret by the Nazi party’s security service.

  8. Pingback: The Spiral Of Silence | Frank Davis

  9. Linda Taylor says:

    I really enjoy everything of yours that I’ve read, Frank. Thank you!

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