Antismoking Is AntiAmerican

One of the oddities about the global war on smoking is that it only really got under way in the early years of the 20th century, four centuries after the introduction of tobacco to the Old World after its discovery in the New World.

Why did it take so long? Why did a plant that had been in cultivation and use for four centuries (and far, far longer in the Americas before that) suddenly become demonised?

There had always been virulent antismokers – like James I of England – but such people were always in a minority. So why did they start growing into a majority during the 20th century?

Most people would probably say that the rise of antismoking during the 20th century was the result of advances in medicine, and in particular advances in epidemiology. It had been shown in Germany in the 1930s that smoking was the cause of the growing epidemic of lung cancer, and the German studies were reproduced in Britain and the USA in the 1950s. By about 1960, more or less everybody knew that smoking caused lung cancer, in much the same way that everyone now knows that carbon dioxide causes global warming. And since about 1990, everybody has also learned the smoking causes more or less every other malady known to man. Antismoking hysteria started in the early 20th century, and kept mounting higher an higher as the century progressed.

I’d like to suggest an alternative non-medical explanation for this strange phenomenon. If nothing else, the epidemiological arguments used to demonise tobacco entail mathematical (statistical) sleight of hand: there have never been good scientific reasons for believing that tobacco causes lung cancer (or any other disease).

What else happened during the 20th century that might have led to the war on tobacco?

My suggestion is that the 20th century saw the rise of America from being a political backwater in 1900 to become the pre-eminent world power by 2000, and that antismoking is primarily a reaction to this event, largely in the formerly pre-eminent world powers in Europe: Antismoking is antiAmerican. It’s roots lie not so much in medicine as in politics, and in the demise of Europe as the dominant power in the world. A comparable event might be the rise of Rome during the second and third centuries BC to become the pre-eminent power in Europe and the Mediterranean, crushing all the rest. And America has achieved far more, far faster than Rome ever did. Inside the space of a century, it has established an empire that controls pretty much the whole world. It’s an empire far larger than the British empire ever was. And so America is hated in the same way that the British were hated, and the Romans too. Most of it is envy. And this envy and hatred of America extended to everything American. And what was more quintessentially American than tobacco?

For America was built on tobacco. America first made its fortune selling tobacco to the world. And the cigarette is also an uniquely American product. Put a cigarette in your mouth, and light it with a Zippo lighter, and you’re more or less telling the world that you’re an American. Just like you’re telling the world you’re an American if you drive a Cadillac or ride a Harley-Davidson, or play a Fender electric guitar, or drink Budweiser or eat Big Macs.

Tobacco is to America is what coal is to Newcastle. And tobacco is far more authentically and originally American than anything made by Ford or Chrysler or General Motors.

And I’d like to suggest that Hitler’s antismoking grew out of Hitler’s antiAmericanism. And Hitler had lots of reasons to be antiAmerican. But for the Americans, Germany would have won WW1. It was the arrival of general Pershing and the US army in Europe in 1917 that swung the war decisively against Germany. But for that, Hitler would have marched proudly down the Champs Elysees as a victor in Paris in 1919. Instead, the defeated and angry and embittered Hitler stopped smoking in 1919. And he stopped smoking in 1919 in protest against America (and the humiliating Versailles treaty): he no longer wanted to be seen to buy and consume such an emblematically American product as tobacco.

Hitler’s antisemitism probably arose from the same source. It wasn’t just that the Rothschilds were Jewish bankers that he hated them, but far more because they were American bankers who had funded the American and British war machines.

Hitler is of importance in the war on smoking because it was German research, some of it personally funded by Hitler, which first established the link between smoking and cancer. For it had always been the whole purpose of that research to find something wrong with tobacco.

Antismoking makes sense as antiAmericanism not only as an explanation for Hitler, but also for the mounting post-WW2 war on tobacco. For as American power grew throughout the second half of the 20th century, the war on tobacco intensified. And with the demise of the Soviet Union circa 1990, and the end of the Cold War, and the emergence of the USA as the sole global hyperpower, the war on tobacco reached its current, hysterical, shrieking climax.

To wish to rid the world of tobacco is to wish to rid the world of America. Tobacco is a proxy for America. And it also remains one of America’s principal exports.

The oddest thing is that a great many Americans now hate tobacco, and so by extension also hate America. Hillary Clinton, who almost won the US presidential election in 2016, is both antismoking and antiAmerican. The current bitter political division in America is between antismoking antiAmericans and pro-smoking pro-Americans (not that many Americans dare speak in favour of tobacco).

It’s not just antismoking that is antiAmerican. There is currently a cultural war being waged against everything else that is typically or classically American: there’s a war being waged on Christianity, on heterosexuality, on the family, on the nation state, on the flag, on patriotism, on the English language, on ‘junk’ fast food (hamburgers and hot dogs), on soda (Coca Cola and Pepsi). It’s a non-stop smear of everything American, and very often it is conducted by Americans. For antiAmericans like Hillary Clinton, most Americans are the “deplorables” – because she deplores America and everything it stands for.

It was a great shame that a couple of days ago Alex Jones and Steve Pieczenik of Infowars joined in the tobacco-bashing. These people count themselves as American patriots (and I think they are), but if they really love America they’d better start loving tobacco as well. Because as long as they join in trampling on tobacco, they may as well join in trampling on the Stars and Stripes.

And maybe it takes non-Americans to tell Americans a few of the home truths about themselves that they can’t see. It was, after all, an Englishman – Tom Paine – who wrote one of the defining texts of the American revolution: Common Sense. And it was a Frenchman – Alexis de Toqueville – who provided some of the most penetrating insights into American culture.

When people abandon and betray their cultural origins and history, it can’t be long before they will lose everything they ever had. And tobacco is an integral part of American history. And American patriots should be proud of that history, and every part of that history – even slavery and civil war (Rome had both of those as well). There’s nothing to be ashamed of. The only shame lies in shame itself.

And I think that true Americans – Americans who love America – are going to realise pretty soon that if they’re going to stand up for America, they’re going to have to include standing up for tobacco as well. And standing up for everything else that made America great, and which can make it great again. Alex Jones is going to have to start smoking again: it’s the most patriotic thing an American can do.

And when Americans finally realise that antismoking is antiAmerican, that’ll be the end of antismoking, and the end of Tobacco Control, not just in America, but everywhere else as well.

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About Frank Davis

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43 Responses to Antismoking Is AntiAmerican

  1. RdM says:

    Tobacco is a proxy for America. And it also remains one of America’s principal exports.

    Not for long to Russia, if this new law gets passed.

    Russia to suspend nuclear, rocket cooperation with America, ban US tobacco & alcohol – draft law

    https://www.rt.com/politics/424010-russia-sanctions-nuclear-us/

    I didn’t know that Russia exported titanium to the US, either:

    https://www.rt.com/business/424003-russia-will-stop-exporting-titanium/

    We live in interesting times…

    • RdM says:

      13 Apr, 2018

      As of last year, 40 percent of Russian titanium aircraft parts were sold to Boeing and 60 percent to its European rival Airbus, according to a spokesman for Russia’s Rostec corporation.

      “We have a joint venture with American Boeing. It is located in the Urals, in Verkhnyaya Salda, where products are manufactured using absolutely unique technologies. We supply not titanium, but finished titanium parts. And the know-how belongs to the Russian side,” Viktor Kladov told Rossiyskaya Gazeta at the time.

      Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin will analyze the bill, but no definitive answer about its introduction can be given yet. “We need time to analyze the point of view of Russian lawmakers who initiated the bill, in order to formulate some position later,” Peskov told journalists on Friday.

      (my bold emphasis)

      Actually, that’s the first I’ve read of Russia and titanium, jogging a memory, since I read this, nearly 20 years ago (not that I’ve been looking hard) – astounding as it may seem, Horatio …

      And the fifth process is the “cold molding” process used by the Soviets for decades to cause titanium metal to suddenly “unhappen” its lattice bonds and turn into a liquid at room temperature. This liquid (at room temperature, without any heating) is then poured into molds. The Russians have used this process (and have understood it) for decades to cold-mold their very thick titanium submarine hulls, something we could not do until I personally directed certain folks to some Soviet scientists who then demonstrated the process to them.

      from toward the end of
      http://www.cheniere.org/correspondence/020609.htm

      Marvels!

  2. simplex says:

    >Hitler
    tbh, he probably noticed who invented, who started, and who funded the ‘russian’ revolution and tried to prevent said people from committing another holodomor on german soil.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Well, the Germans shipped Lenin to Petrograd in a sealed train, so I suppose the Germans started the Russian revolution, and did so with the express intent of driving Russia out of the war – something in which they succeeded.

  3. Roobeedoo2 says:

    You’re chiming with something I read last night, Frank, about the war on Donald:

    ‘Needless to say, our purpose here is not to play the name game. Instead, we are trying to color, characterize and concretize what we mean by the Deep State, and to explain why the latter is carrying on such a relentless, vicious and dark campaign to take the Donald down—even at risk of war with Russia and nuclear armaggedon for the entire planet.’

    ‘It’s all encapsulated in two words: America First!

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-13/deep-state-closes-donald-part-2-muellers-war

    ‘And that gets us to the meat of the matter: America First is an existential threat to the Deep State.’

  4. Elliott Bettman says:

    Look…even as a physician myself, I would not go so far as to ban tobacco. I don’t like the War on Drugs, either. People will inherently always find a way to get their poison of choice (witness-alcohol prohibition.) BUT…cigarettes do TOO cause Lung (and several other) types of Cancer. 85% of those with lung cancer are current or former smokers!! And, MANY of those other 15% are “exceptions that prove the rule” in that they either 1. live with smokers, or work in smoky bars, or 2. have industrial exposure to asbestos or radiation. The vast majority of Emphysema is in smokers. Yes, there is some Genetic predilection to same, but how do you explain these things away?? Psychological Stress?? And, the only thing close to smoking, as far causing heart attacks, strokes and limb loss is Diabetes.

    I see a lot of Guilt by Association here. “Hitler hated smoking” or “Hitler hated Guns” (surprised the author didn’t bring that up.) Well-I’m a JEW-but, Hitler was RIGHT about those things. Smoking is a Major Killer the World over. I see Old folks, and smokers, but very few Old smokers in my practice. Autopsies on lungs of our Dead soldiers in the Korean War showed precancerous changes in the lungs of those who smoked.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I don’t care if you’re a physician. I couldn’t give a damn. Some of us are getting so, so very tired of people like you.. We don’t want to know what you think, because we’ve heard it all before, far too often..

    • smokingscot says:

      That’s what you do Elliott, you meet, see and treat ill people. You do that all the time.
      And yes it must be hugely frustrating for you to see so many who are or have smoked who die or are mutilated because of this.

      WE KNOW THIS ELLIOTT. Every man jack on this forum know these illnesses are a risk.

      And how do we know this Elliott? Well our packaging tell us, our media tell us, our friends and even our local doctor tell us.

      So what exactly is your point Elliott? That you’re at the cliff face and because of that you can pontificate with some form of authority?

      What you don’t see are people who live full lives and enjoy smoking. We do Elliott. Get over it fella.

      And with respect to old smokers, do so give us a break. Virtually everyone currently considered old is, was or had intimate contact with smokers.

    • garyk30 says:

      Wellll Doc, as a physician you must have signed death certificates.
      Have you ever listed ‘smoking’ as a primary ‘cause’ of death?

      If smoking causes lung cancer, why is it that smokers and non-smokers have the same pprobability of not dying from lung cancer?
      Smokers have 99.8% of non-smokers’ chances of not dying from lung cancer.

      Doll’s study of the mortality of British doctors showed that smokers and non-smokers have about the same probability of dying from one of the diseases ‘caused’ by smoking.
      Smokers=85% of deaths were from those diseases
      Non-smokers= 84% of deaths were from those diseases.

      • beobrigitte says:

        Wellll Doc, as a physician you must have signed death certificates.
        Have you ever listed ‘smoking’ as a primary ‘cause’ of death?

        Thanks, Gary! My answer was getting too long so I did not ask this question.

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      All of your assertions are questionable. Smoking as a cause of lung cancer has never been proven despite the statistical dose-response relationship seen in epidemiological studies–all of which can be influenced by numerous biases. In the case of second hand smoke, your assertions are specious at best.

      See Boffetta, et al: Multicenter Case-Control Study of Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Lung Cancer in Europe, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 90, No. 19, October 7, 1998: “public indoor settings did not represent an important source of ETS exposure.” (This case-control study used data from the IARC. The period of enrollment of case and control subjects was from 1988 to 1994–16 years; IARC=International Agency for Research on Cancer.)

      In addition, this large study looked at 38 years worth of data: Enstrom, JE and Kabat, GC. Environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality in a prospective study of Californians, 1960-98 BMJ 2003; 326:1057.This study found “No significant associations were found for current or former exposure to environmental tobacco smoke before or after adjusting for seven confounders and before or after excluding participants with pre-existing disease.” (This prospective study used American Cancer Society dataset.)

      “We reviewed 87 epidemiological studies relating environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure to risk of cancer other than lung or breast in never smoking adults… Inadequate confounder control, recall bias, publication bias, and occasional reports of implausibly large RRs in individual studies contribute to our conclusion that the epidemiological evidence does not convincingly demonstrate that ETS exposure causes any of the cancers studied.” Lee PN, Thornton AJ, Haming JS. Epidemiological evidence on environmental tobacco smoke and cancers other than lung or breast. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2016 Oct;80:134-63. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2016.06.012. Epub 2016 Jun 16.

      In addition, lung cancer has been on the rise despite smoking rates declining for over 50 years. The 85% rate used by tobacco control is questionable on many grounds.

    • beobrigitte says:

      BUT…cigarettes do TOO cause Lung (and several other) types of Cancer. 85% of those with lung cancer are current or former smokers!! And, MANY of those other 15% are “exceptions that prove the rule” in that they either 1. live with smokers, or work in smoky bars, or 2. have industrial exposure to asbestos or radiation.
      You do sound like a physician I would avoid at all cost simply because I imagine you to be a youngster medic who still has “to tow the rope” or find another job. Surely you had to take a module or maybe two brushing up basic statistics (why? To treat peoples’ ailments?) or even learn which electrode goes where on a blood gas analyser (why? To botch up a job that other people do in 5 minutes?) but – to my knowledge – research and how it’s financed and even conducted is NOT part of your 5 years university and following training + automatic graduation from F1 to F2 etc.
      You throw around %-ages taken out of tobacco control’s handbook, I’m afraid.
      To: And, MANY of those other 15% are “exceptions that prove the rule” in that they either 1. live with smokers, or work in smoky bars, or 2. have industrial exposure to asbestos or radiation.
      I would encourage you to read this:
      http://www.rokersbelangen.nl/242-interview-with-prof-dr-med-romano-grieshaber
      to the last sentence:
      Grieshaber is and always has been a nonsmoker.
      Also, if you do speak German, I’d advice you to read Prof. Grieshabers Book:
      https://www.amazon.de/Passivrauchen-G%C3%B6tterd%C3%A4mmerung-Wissenschaft-Romano-Grieshaber/dp/3000376054

      Next.
      The vast majority of Emphysema is in smokers. Yes, there is some Genetic predilection to same, but how do you explain these things away?? Psychological Stress??
      Psychological stress is something I will address when I answer to your next sentence.
      I do have a much younger friend who does have emphysema. Neversmoker and genetic predisposition. However, her biggest problem is the high humidity in our area. As a medic you should be aware of this factor? In her house there is a room (it has a wonderful open fire) in which there are ashtrays for smokers as she believes that you treat people with resepect. As a smoker of 48 years I am in far better condition than she is. It shows every time we go to the gym together.

      Next.
      And, the only thing close to smoking, as far causing heart attacks, strokes and limb loss is Diabetes.
      Here come your wisecrack psychological stress in. I would like to also add to this the age of the patients – which you appear to conveniently omit – to this. Perhaps you would like to add the column ‘age’ to your spreadsheet. FACT is, our bodies naturally deteriorate. YOU might be working towards retirement age of 55 (and have “burn-outs” and whatever) – my generation did not. However, my generation, the one who grew up with smokers and smoking around them, miraculously does live longer healthily and the state pension age has been raised to 67.

      Finally:
      I see Old folks, and smokers, but very few Old smokers in my practice.
      I’ve got news for you. A lot of them are lying. And the rest has been given smoking cessation “medication” that, if a quota of “sales” is met, guarantees the medic a week in the Bahamas.

      Now you know why the medical profession loses respect on a daily basis.

        • RdM says:

          His negative reviews: (conveniently bolstered by a few (proxy?) 5 star ones):

          https://www.vitals.com/doctors/Dr_Elliott_Bettman/reviews

          His twitter account (NB – scroll down to his first ever tweet!)

          I commented earlier in reply to his original post here just earlier.

          I would urge some compassion…

          “Forgive them for they know not what they do”

          On the other hand, some hard talk would also seem to be in order.

          Here’s a chance to engage a disbeliever in dialogue.

          If, now knowing what we all know about him, he will come back to talk.

          Write, rather.

          And why not?

          We’ve all been idiots in our past, can forgive and be forgiven, perhaps change our ways, our thinking, admit we were wrong, at least internally, and seek out new insights.

          And be forgiven again for starting out with a new approach, perhaps.

          You have to try.

        • smokingscot says:

          Interesting.

          He may come back, for a 2nd helping, that he’ll get in spades.

          Or, if he has any real intelligence, he’ll b eal busy contacting Google with a request for a right to forget.

        • beobrigitte says:

          Thanks RdM!

          To the good Dr.’s first twitter feed I’d like to say
          Good Dr., REALLY??????????

    • Autopsies on lungs of our Dead soldiers in the Korean War showed precancerous changes in the lungs of those who smoked.

      This factoid would be meaningless even if it were backed up by some statistics, considering that in the 1950s, pretty much every adult male, especially in the armed forces, was a smoker to some extent…

      But meaningless as it may be, this factoid is not useless in that it immediately suggests the following remark and question: since, apparently, the science on tumorigenesis was advanced enough at the time to help identify early mutations in dead bodies, should not the emphasis have been on finding a way to detect them in vivo? Perhaps the survival rate for LC would have significantly improved (because, as it happens, it hasn’t much throughout the intervening decades)…

      Why are so few people willing to question the statistical sleight of hand and math-washing that make up the bulk of ‘evidence’ indicting smoking? The answer, and it also applies to people with extensive backgrounds in medicine or statistics or both (including our anti-smoker-of-the-day, Elliott Bettman), is their lack of political acumen: they fail to recognise the incontrovertible fact that the Tobacco Industry is, and has been for a long while, State-owned in a way and to an extent that no industry in the old Soviet Union ever was.
      And so they may be presented with obviously lacunary evidence and biased conclusions, but in their eyes that automatically turns into ‘strong evidence’, since it has been accepted by the putative culprit.

    • waltc says:

      I don’t mean to pile on, Doctor. And I won’t even argue that there’s no statistical connection between smoking and lung cancer. I’ll instead argue that in 1950s- 60s America, about 64% of adult Americans smoked (look it up) and that’s not counting the not-quite-adults; that most of my and my preceding generations smoked; that the average age of death among the all-smoking older generations of my family was 91 (86-97); that none of my contemporaries who’ve died have died because of their smoking, and I might suggest that if none of your patients are elderly smokers, it may be because they know your disapproving attitude towards them, know they can expect lectures, and are just too old to put up with that stuff.

      I might also counter that government statistics (again, look it up) appear to show that 8-10% of smokers die of lung cancer, meaning 90-92% don’t. That doesn’t mean smoking either was or wasn’t a factor in those cases, but with those odds, it’s hard to say it’s a universal “cause.”

      • beobrigitte says:

        Reply to Some French bloke:
        Autopsies on lungs of our Dead soldiers in the Korean War showed precancerous changes in the lungs of those who smoked.
        This IS a meaningless statement. The good doctor needs to explain what is meant by “pre-cancerous” in great detail.

        Reply to Smokingscot:
        Ok, I got the guy’s age wrong but not his naivety.
        Although I would have not put up a link to who he might be, there are disturbing twitter feeds of a guy with his name.
        My next search will be a review of his patients.

        • smokingscot says:

          Difficult to pin down an age or get a photo.

          However the Conway Medical Center is, as you describe, in a largely rural area and is ranked as excellent in just one discipline. Hip replacements.

          Otherwise it’s pretty mediocre, with a low nurse count.

          Patient ratings are a flat 3 out of 5.

          https://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/area/sc/conway-medical-center-6370230

          He’s got 21+ years of practice under his belt, yet he ends up in this rural backwater.

          I agree he’s naive, very probably not ambitious and as he seems to have a fixation on blaming smoking for everything, then most likely not especially competent.

      • garyk30 says:

        Curious bit here.
        They are absolutely convinced that smoking causes lung cancer; but,since only a small percentage of smokers die from lung cancer, why are they not curious as to what it is that protects the far larger group of smokers.

        Seems to me, these ‘scientists’, are going at things backwards.
        Unless, their real purpose is punishing those that dare to enjoy smoking.

    • Joe L. says:

      I see a lot of Guilt by Association here. “Hitler hated smoking” or “Hitler hated Guns” (surprised the author didn’t bring that up.) Well-I’m a JEW-but, Hitler was RIGHT about those things.

      You are a Jewish American who has such a deep-seated personal prejudice against smokers (and gun owners, apparently) that you commend the leader of the Nazi party for his totalitarian social engineering practices.

      Elliott Bettman, you are the epitome of the AntiAmericans Frank wrote about in today’s post. As a medical doctor in the U.S., you no doubt live a very privileged life. You are one of the few Americans fortunate enough to have realized the American Dream, and you have surely benefitted from it in spades. Yet you have the audacity to commiserate with Adolf Hitler, of all people, because you share his disdain for the foundation of freedoms that America was built upon.

      It appears you practice medicine in South Carolina. As I’m sure you’re aware (and most likely are disgusted by), South Carolina is the home to many hardcore, blue-collar, tobacco-smoking, gun-toting, pickup-truck-driving, red-white-and-blue Americans, and I’m willing to bet that many of the patients that you supposedly care for are exactly those people. I think a significant percentage of your patient base would immediately find a different physician if they knew you were a Hitler-sympathizing AntiAmerican (let alone a Hitler-sympathizing Jew).

      • RdM says:

        Well no, Joe, although presumably American now, Dr. Elliot Bettman graduated from Universidad del Noreste or, was it from Universidad Autonoma De Tamaulipas, Tampico, Facultad De Medicina De Tampico in 1986, so if claiming to be, is a Mexican Jew.

        Who have a long history in Mexico, said to have begun in 1519 with the arrival of Conversos, often called Marranos or “Crypto-Jews,” referring to those Jews forcibly converted to Catholicism and that then became subject to the Spanish Inquisition.

        So you’d think he might, if prompted, begin to have a little empathy with other minorities (like tobacco aficionados ahem ‘smokers’) who are being treated like Jews in the Spanish Inquisition, or in Nazi times, in these present days.

        But let’s cut him a little slack – no doubt the big pharma funded anti-smoking propaganda and rhetoric was practically a part of the curriculum even at that time.

        At least he’s expressing some slight curiosity, even if he thinks it’s morbid…

        I suspect a lot of people are going to have to come to terms with the fact that they’ve been brainwashed, inculcated with cult beliefs, may need assistance with deprogramming, as the whole house of cards of Tobacco Control comes crashing down.

        That doesn’t though excuse the rudeness, the “I’m an Expert, Trust Me” arrogance.
        Although it more likely speaks to, or from, ignorance.

        So it’s good to have all those counter arguments assembled and available.

    • margo says:

      And, Elliott, 100% of people who get cancer are exposed for all of their lives to road traffic and all the other pollutants in the air. And nearly all of them eat bread. How do you explain THAT away?

  5. Tara says:

    Very interesting read. Thanks, from an American!

  6. Barry Homan says:

    I’ve always pondered the matter of where the first smoking-bans (i.e. this time around) took place in America: Berkeley, California. Am I right? What’s to ponder about? Well, at that time in the early 1990s, Berkekely was pretty much the established lesbian-capital of the world – or at least of the US. I didn’t live there, but from what I gleaned back then, much of the lesbian culture there harboured a very plain, outspoken disdain for any member of the male sex – if not an open, outright hatred, though that definitely existed among a number of them.

    It can make one speculate: why did the lebians clutch at and cultivate this kind of group-think & attitude, with no real rational, mature reason to justify it? Though they couldn’t actually attack and eliminate the male population, they still clung to this hate, it was bubbling around, growing, seething. As time went on, it eventually spilled over onto another group, one that presumably could be justifiably targeted, with no big backlash: smokers. I think it just happened one day, someone got the ball rolling. This “hate” had just been buzzing around, and needed to grab ahold and attach itself to something. So there it was, an initial assault from an isolated microcosm of people, with certain essential personality traits: vindictive, spiteful, frustrated, a community of persons consisting of many self-loathing individuals, who grew up in an era where their sexual preferences would have left them shunned, frowned upon or jeered at.

    The first ban, the first move on the ol chessboard proved successful, and so the game went on from there. Now we’re at where we are today. All because of some self-loathing individuals? If you ask me, most anti-smokers strike me as self-loathing, vindictive, or unpopular – or they look like they might have been at some time, earlier in their lives.

    • waltc says:

      Nah. In Berkely, it was Stanton Glantz.

    • Joe L. says:

      Interesting hypothesis, Barry. But I’m not sure I’m completely sold on it. Mainly because it has been consistently reported that the LGBT community tends to have much higher smoking rates than their heterosexual counterparts (link) (more recent data).

      However, your thoughts made me ponder if the large gay community played some sort of role in the contemporary American antismoking movement having its genesis in the San Francisco Bay area. I wonder if the higher-than-average smoking rates among the growing gay community (and thus in the San Francisco area in general) drove Stanton Glantz crazy when he relocated there in 1970 to attend Stanford, spurring him to recruit like-minded rabid antismokers with which to help promote an antismoking agenda. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if a few antismoking members of the gay community were involved–those who believed (not unlike James I or Hitler) that smoking was a sign of weakness, and was thus detrimental to their campaign to gain equal rights.

  7. Dirk says:

    This is in fact a wonderful advocacy for smoking. In this sketch Stephan Fry gives all the right arguments, but in the end they fall for the anti-tobacco thing.

    Please watch this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XewVicFzRxw and I’d be happy to see the comments, especially from Frank Davis who calls me “somebody” as if he doesn’t know me. I’ve been on his mailing list for many years.

    • Roobeedoo2 says:

      Dirk, don’t take offence at something Frank never intended to offend you with. We’ve enough prissiness to deal with out there, without it being aimed at each other on here.

      Interestingly enough, I mentioned Stephen Fry’s No. 1 gadget today to someone an hour ago:

      http://itemequalstotem.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/stephen-frys-100-greatest-gadgets.html

      Portable fire. Brilliant idea. Why would authority not want people to have portable fire in their pocket? If you don’t smoke, why would you carry a lighter? Most people that don’t smoke, don’t carry a lighter around with them.

  8. Dirk says:

    Roobeedoo, I humbly bow my head.

  9. Yvonne says:

    My experience is that the average medical professional doesn’t want to look further than smoking aetiology.
    In UK every new patient is asked whether they smoke and how much. Up flashes ‘smoker’ on the computer screen before the patient has even entered the consulting room. The medic has generally already decided that there is a smoking causation to whatever ails the patient. From that point on the medic becomes lazy, they only have a few minutes per patient and have no incentive or curiosity to pursue any other possibility. Consequently other causes don’t even enter the picture. Tradesmen will use an array of chemicals during their workday, as will farmers and many other professions.
    Medical schools turn out book learned medical clones. Genuine caring curious medics are diamonds and a rarity. The average doctor could just as easily ask if people use toothpaste and come to a similar conclusion. No wonder people have already resorted to the internet before trusting themselves to doctors.
    While this shortcut perpetuates medicine won’t progress and there is a possibility that chemical and pharmaceutical companies are let off the hook.

    • The average doctor could just as easily ask if people use toothpaste and come to a similar conclusion.

      Why didn’t this (other likely story) happen? The only viable explanation: Big Toothpaste has been powerful enough to nip all the accusations in the bud! Hence no “Campaign for Toothpaste-Free Kids”, “The Striped Holocaust” by Robert Proctor, etc.

  10. Tony says:

    I feel a little sarcasm coming on so here’s my slightly tongue in cheek history of 20th century anti-smoking research.

    In 1929, a doctor from Dresden named Fritz Lickint noticed that an extremely rare disease, lung cancer, while still rare, had been on the increase. Also that there were many more cases amongst men than women.

    This raised the important question of what was the fundamental difference between men and women? Fritz’s scientific breakthrough was his realisation that the only difference of any importance was that more men smoked tobacco. This presumably explained not only the differences in lung cancer rates but also those of height, strength and hairiness. Not to mention the extraordinary differences in the vest and trouser departments.

    Tobacco smoking had been in widespread popular use for over 350 years at this point and so it was about time it had an effect.

    Twenty years later, English men Hill and Doll decided that another factor might be relevant. This was something known as ‘age’ which was believed to be caused by a mysterious agency called ‘time’. Accordingly these two men embarked on surveys, initially of hospital cancer patients and then later, of around 35,000 British male doctors. Importantly, they included both of these critical factors in their survey and were careful to exclude anything else that might confuse people.

  11. waltc says:

    I think the blog points are true, but each in isolation. What’s anti-American about anti-smoking is its violation of what we used to think of as American principles (not that we haven’t violated them before), ideals of equality, civil liberties, a rejection of second class citizenry, official discrimination, and the government itself propagandizing–let alone falsely– against its citizens.

    But the move to destroy national as well as universal traditions seems to be international. And, yes, goes down to the smallest of national pleasures. Your pubs; your crisps; your sausages; your sodas as well as our hot dogs, fries and Cokes. Families, sexes, Gods, free speech….the ashes from which Utopia will allegedly arise

    The history of American anti-smokerism actually comes down to a handful of men (like Glantz, Repace, Banzaf, Cherner, Welles, Koop, Kessler, Freiden and a few more) who, riding their hobby horse, managed to work their way into the unaccountable government bureaucratic agencies (EPA, FDA, CDC) , hire others of their ilk to perform government-funded “studies” and, with them, reach the ears of politicians. Then enter Bloomberg who, influenced by Freiden, began spending by now billions on his dream of Tomorrow, The World. (After passing the ban in NYC, he made a lobbying trip to Ireland, convinced the government to institute a ban, and from there began to bribe every government he could find.) I think it’s merely incidental or coincidental that anti-tobacco jibes with the rest of the destructive anti-tradition movements, though it has to be acknowledged that the success of anti-tobacco, set the model for every other glittering-eyed zealot with a gripe against salt, sugar, fat, soft drinks and sitting.

  12. chris says:

    You seem to have forgotten US’ Puritan heritage and our pioneering of alcohol prohibition and the war on drugs. “Freedom for me, but not for thee” is as American as apple pie. The late comedian George Carlin captured it best when he characterized out Founding Fathers as slaveholders who wanted to be free.

    • waltc says:

      Ftr, Chris, I said “not that we haven’t violated them before.” I was thinking foremost of the institutionalized racism of Jim Crow, though there are many other examples. I think our founding principles are, and always have been, aspirational more than actual, though every once in a while we come to our collective senses and actually honor them for a while. Still, we constantly (and genuinely) profess to them.

  13. Pingback: The Deplorables | Frank Davis

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