Tobacco Control defines itself as fighting against tobacco, which it regards as the greatest single evil in the world, and the cause of more or less all disease – cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and every other disease as well.
Tobacco Control fights Evil. It does not worship any Good. Nominally it is in favour of Healh. Nominally it worships Public Health. But it’s practically far more fully engaged in fighting Evil than it is in doing Good. Or it has come to identify doing Good with fighting Evil.
In this respect Tobacco Control is rather like one of those mediaeval knightly orders whose monks spent all their time fighting the Moors rather than in churches or monasteries praying or chanting. The Knights Templar were fighting men. They were soldiers fighting an enemy. About all that was left of their Christianity were the crosses that decorated their armour, and which they wore around their necks.
And Tobacco Control will likely face the same fate as the Knights Templar. They will all be arrested one day, accused of sodomy and satanism, stripped of all their possessions, and burned at the stake. For this is the more or less inevitable consequence of Fighting Evil rather than Doing Good. For once you start fighting evil, you enter into a demon-haunted world, and you become indistinguishable from the devils surrounding you. Fighting Evil, one becomes evil. The more enemies you kill with your sword, the more you become a murderer just like the enemies you are fighting.
Tobacco Control demonises not just tobacco, but also tobacco companies, and now also tobacco smokers. Initially it was only cigarettes that they demonised, but now they demonise pipes and cigars as well, and every other tobacco product, including ones which contain no tobacco at all, but happen to look like cigarettes (i.e. e-cigarettes). And along with their products, Tobacco Control demonises the proprietors of the tobacco companies, which they see as not different from selling people a poison that will slowly kill them. They may as well be selling arsenic. And now Tobacco Control demonises tobacco consumers as well. For these are seen as being “addicts” somehow desperate for the arsenic that is slowly killing them, and who need to be saved from themselves by excluding them from society.
For Tobacco Control has destroyed the old, friendly, welcoming, smoky little pubs of England. All the smokers have been kicked out onto the streets. And this shattered little pub communities all over England, and set smokers against non-smokers, children against parents, wives against husbands, friend against friend. Tobacco Control has torn society apart. And it has done so not just in England, but also in Wales and Scotland and Ireland, and Holland and France and Spain and Italy. In fact, it has done the same all over the world. And it has bankrupted tens of thousands of pubs and bars and cafes that used once to have smokers as customers. And it has done the same more or less everywhere in the world, including Russia and China and India.
And not content with banning smoking inside public buildings, it now extends its bans to the surrounding streets, and parks, and beaches. And it is now extending bans to private dwellings. And it exacts draconian taxes on all tobacco products. And it covers those products with strident, insulting messages to the smokers who can still afford buy them.
Was Big Tobacco ever that bad? Did Big Tobacco demonise non-smokers? Did Big Tobacco ever drive anybody out onto the street? Did Big Tobacco scrawl insulting messages on the products of its competitors? Did Big Tobacco bankrupt thousands of businesses? Did Big Tobacco shatter society?
Well, no, it didn’t do any of those things. It’s only Tobacco Control that does this. All that Big Tobacco has done is to sell arsenic to to its arsenic-addicted customers, and an arsenic so weak that it takes decades to kill them (if it kills them at all), rather than seconds. Nobody was obliged to buy the arsenic. Nobody was forced to consume it. Big Tobacco was really only selling people a product that they wanted to buy, just like any manufacturer of any other product – bread, milk, shoes, trousers, hats, bicycles.
If there’s anyone satanic around here, it’s not Big Tobacco. It’s Tobacco Control.
For Tobacco Control does far, far, far more harm than Big Tobacco ever did. And it is doing so in the name of fighting evil. In fighting evil, Tobacco Control has been doing far more evil than the evil it’s fighting ever did.
But we live in a world where everything seems to get demonised sooner or later. For we are seeing oil companies demonised, and coal miners demonised, and large industries of every kind demonised. And we’re seeing Capitalism demonised, and Communism demonised, and Christianity demonised, and Islam demonised.
Most recently, we’ve been seeing Google and Facebook and Amazon and YouTube demonised. They used to be regarded as innovative, progressive companies. But when they became rich and powerful and started reading everyone’s mail, and banning people for their politics, they also became demons. They started being seen as doing more harm than good.
I was wondering a couple of days ago what induced millions of men to line up in trenches and fight each other for four long years during WW1. The answer is pretty simple: they were Fighting Evil. They were fighting demons in khaki and field grey uniforms. And they all did far more harm than any harm that was originally done to trigger that conflict.
When the next war comes, there is one thing of which you can be most perfectly certain: you will be Fighting Evil.