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.