Antismokers are driven by hatred. This was something I realised with the very first antismoker I ever met: Dr W, in whose home in England I once lived (because I was at school in England, and my parents were living in Brazil). I discovered his hatred of smoking not long after I arrived in his household in late 1965, when I heard him inveighing at the top of his voice against the “filthy, filthy, filthy” habit, after he’d caught his eldest son smoking (again). That was hatred. Hatred of smoking.

It was then that I stopped believing that the mounting war on smoking was driven by any sort of measured, rational science. Rationality is something that is slow and cool. Scientists don’t shout at the tops of their voices at each other. Or at least I don’t think they do. All the scientists I’ve known have been rather quiet, retiring sort of people. And calm, quiet, cool reasoning is completely incompatible with hatred and anger. Whatever Dr W might have been, he was no scientist.

The entire time I lived in his house, I was terrified of Dr W, as a result of the outburst I’d heard. For although he never shouted like that again, I always knew that he was capable of doing so. So I saw him as a sort of dormant volcano, to be steered clear of, given the widest possible berth.

Back in 1965 I hadn’t started smoking. But after Dr W had disabused me of the idea that there was anything rational about the mounting war on smoking that was already going on, I saw no reason to not take up smoking. So in about 1967 I started smoking.

And Dr W wasn’t just any old medical doctor. He was a big shot in the BMA. The very last time I saw him was on TV, speaking on behalf of the BMA, wearing one of his pinstripe suits. No doubt he knew George Godber and Richard Doll and all the rest of the antismokers that infested (and still infest) the medical profession.

He was a very strange man. He was incapable of smiling a genuine smile, although he was able to simulate one when he knew that he was supposed to smile. When he got back from his job as district health officer in the evenings, he’d put on old clothes and carry on working in his garden, even in complete darkness. I never saw him read a newspaper or a book, or watch TV or listen to the radio. He kept himself busy the whole time, repairing things, doing odd jobs.

He died in about 2000, at the age of 79 (the same age as my smoky drinky father), very suddenly of a heart attack, seemingly without having smoked a single cigarette in his life, or drunk a single beer. It was something that he’d predicted would happen, because his father had died that way, and it was something that ran in his family. And, when he died, I happened to possess the only photograph of the entire family, taken by me in 1965, copies of which were given to everyone in his family.

I’ve never understood why some people hate smoking so much. I’ve also never understood why some people hate Jews and Gypsies either. But there seem to be a lot of people who do, which is why I bracket antismoking with antisemitism: they’re the same sort of malady.

And it’s hatred that has now driven smokers from their pubs and cafes, exiled them to the outdoors. It’s now a state-sponsored hatred, driven by all the Dr Ws in the medical profession and the WHO. It’s a hatred in front of which smokers have retreated, bewildered by the intensity of it.

But such hatred invariably engenders equal and opposite hatred. If you hate me, sooner or later I will start hating you. And so now that antismokers hate smokers, so also smokers now hate antismokers.

I used not to hate Dr W while he was alive. But with the 2007 UK smoking ban (for which he probably worked tirelessly, but never lived to see), I started hating him. And I started hating antismoking friends I’d once known. It’s a hatred that gets stronger as the years go by.

Antismokers are the only people I hate. As soon as I discover that someone is an antismoker, my good opinion of them vanishes, like a candle snuffed out. Madonna, Queen guitarist Brian May, and also Leo Tolstoy and Karl Popper. There are lots more. I have several books by Karl Popper that I can no longer bring myself to open.

Hatred breeds hatred, much like love breeds love. And I think that the coming years are going to see a tidal wave of hatred for antismokers sweeping the world, in response to the hatred that smokers have been experiencing. It seems to me inevitable that this will happen. And since there are far more smokers than antismokers, once the hatred kicks in, the antismokers are going to be outnumbered. They’ll have to flee to places like Argentina, and live under assumed names. That’s how it’s going to be.

I used to wonder how people could fight wars with each other. But now that I’ve experienced the hatred of the antismokers for smokers, and know in myself the hatred of smokers for antismokers, I can completely understand why wars break out. Because the hatred of anyone for anyone else will always be met with equal counter-hatred, whatever the cause, whether it’s national or religious or anything else.

Things like this are not going to be forgotten. They’re going to be remembered for a long time. They’re going to be stored up, as fuel for the fire to come.

The only mercy seems to be that, once the wars have been fought, the hatreds that drove them seem to evaporate, and enemies become the best of friends.

Until, that is, the old hatreds start to slowly build once again.

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12 Responses to Hatred

  1. smokingscot says:

    I hope the guy who beat up on the disabled lady is prosecuted and jailed. Sick bully.

  2. Dmitry Kosyrev says:

    “Scientists don’t shout at the tops of their voices at each other”. Well, Frank, I’m back from our cigar club today, and there were two spinal doctors, an osteopate and the straight kind of doctor, not letting each other say a word, literally. One of them was designated speaker, but the other did not care. Needless to say, both are famous, and both belong to the same club. There is a lot of passion in science, you know, and both are swearing by dozens of lives saved. Taught me a lesson. Led me to an idea about my next column.

  3. jaxthefirst says:

    Totally OT, Frank, sorry, but I happened to hear on the radio today, just as I was pulling up at home, that a report by the ONS indicated that although small, local pubs had suffered badly in terms of closures, large chain pubs were doing a bit better than they had been in recent years. Most surprisingly, though, the reporter stated quite categorically that the reasons for the large number of closures amongst the little “real” pubs was, (and I quote): “The smoking ban and the increasing variety of food available” (at the larger establishments, I’m guessing – he didn’t specify). I nearly fell off my seat (well, I would have done if I hadn’t been sitting in my car!) over the fact that an official Government body such as the ONS had actually, finally, acknowledged that the reason for so many small pubs suffering was that usually-ignored Elephant in the Room.

    Needless to say, the moment I got in I checked on the ONS’s website to see if I could download a copy of this heretical report (how very dare they!) but, lo and behold, curiously, and despite clicking on all the available links to see if there was any “original text” available, rather than the précis version given on their website, all mention of the ban (which I assumed was there originally, or the reporter wouldn’t have mentioned it) had been airbrushed out, and reference was only made to pub figures from 2008 onwards and only the financial recession – 18 months after the smoking ban – was mentioned as a reference point. Odd that, eh?

    So I wonder where the radio newsreader got his report from (he definitely mentioned the ONS). I scoured other sites who have mentioned the report and most seem to have simply copied and pasted what I guess was some kind of press release from the ONS – the wording is so similar in all of them, and the smoking ban simply doesn’t get a look-in. As usual, they mention pretty much everything else – the beer escalator, increased rents, increased VAT, cheap supermarket alcohol, the recession, changing social habits, changing demographics – all the usual suspects. Everything, in fact except the Elephant. To its credit, the BBC does give a small mention of it as being cited as one of the reasons given by CAMRA (which I find hard to believe, as they were some of the most vociferous supporters of the ban before its imposition) and the BBPA (whose site is closed to non-members, irritatingly) but neither of those seem to have noticed the curiously-convenient timing of all the data given on the ONS website.

    Anyway, just in case they quietly edit that mention out of the article, here is a link to it: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46343963

    • Joe L. says:

      The BBC article you linked attributes independent organizations–not the ONS–as citing the smoking ban as reason for the pub closures:

      Organisations such as the Campaign for Real Ale and the British Beer and Pub Association have charted the disappearance of pubs for many years, citing reasons including rising overheads, the smoking ban and the rise of cheaper alcohol sold in supermarkets.

      Perhaps the radio newsreader mistakenly attributed it to ONS or you simply misheard it? Either way, it appears ONS is still ignoring the Elephant.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I suppose they don’t want to admit there was any collateral damage from the smoking ban.

      Or, more likely, they don’t see pub closures as collateral damage, but as killing two birds with one stone. They managed to kick smokers out of pubs AND close lots of pubs. Because they’re pretty much as anti-alcohol as they are anti-tobacco.

  4. Smoking Lamp says:

    Antismoker hatred is a carefully cultivated phenomena. Relentless propaganda and the false meme that ‘second hand smoke kills’ were designed too stimulate that hate. Smoking bans were also designed to further antismoker hate and intolerance.

  5. Rose says:

    In other news, James 1st of England, 6th of Scotland, patron saint of antismokers, appeared in all his nightmare witch hunting zeal on Doctor Who, he didn’t say a word about tobacco though , which I thought was a serious omission considering his hatred of tobacco stemmed from him considering smoking a pagan practice and a sin against God.

    “Shall we, I say, without blushing, abase our selves so farre, as to imitate these beastly Indians, slaves to the Spaniards, refuse to the world, and as yet aliens from the holy Covenant of God? Why doe we not as well imitate them in walking naked as they doe? in preferring glasses, feathers, and such toyes, to golde and precious stones, as they do? yea why do we not denie God and adore the Devill, as they doe?”

    Doctor Who recap: Series 37, episode 8 – The Witchfinders

    “Alien mud-zombies and witch-dunking await Team Tardis in their latest historical adventure”

  6. garyk30 says:

    Anti-smokers hate the smokers not to improve them, but to feel good about themselves.
    Hating people for what they are and because it feels good to hate them, is hate in its unalloyed form.”

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