Not being an antismoker, I often wonder why antismokers hate smoking (and smokers) so much.
I tend to think that the rise of the antismokers was a response to the dramatic increase in smoking during WW1 100 years ago and WW2 80 years ago. Back then, pretty much everyone smoked. And even if they didn’t smoke, they’d find themselves inhaling copious amounts of smoke anyway, and hating every minute of it. So I see the current global antismoking campaign as being a delayed reaction to a global event that took place 100 years ago. And in the same way I think that contemporary environmentalism is a delayed reaction to the Industrial Revolution that began 250 years ago. There seem to be a lot of these sorts of delayed reactions. Something happens somewhere, but its effects are not felt or responded to immediately, and instead gather momentum over a period of time which may range from 10 minutes to 1000 years. It takes people time to respond to anything. So there’s always a delayed reaction.
And then the antismokers also think that smoking is a filthy habit. They see smoke as a form of dirt that gets in people’s lungs and hair and clothes, and all over everything else as well. This was the view of the antismoking Dr W , in whose home I once lived. He’d also served in the army in North Africa during WW2, don’t ask me on whose side.
And they also regard smokers as being self-indulgent and weak-willed. The smoker is someone who is unable to resist temptation. He lacks self-control. And in many cases he is an addict, and a slave to his addiction. In these respects, the smoker is regarded as morally deficient.
And they regard smokers as being inconsiderate. They’ll light up everywhere, disregarding everyone else. And this is a further moral deficiency.
There’s also a cultural reason for disliking smoking, which many people who experienced the 1960s may recall. And this is that in the 1960s smoking tobacco was perfectly legal and socially acceptable, while smoking pot was perfectly illegal and socially unacceptable. Tobacco smokers could sit in pubs and restaurants openly smoking. But pot smokers could only do so in the privacy of their own homes, and in fact not even there either. And over the past 60 years the reverse has begun to happen. For while tobacco is being subjected to ever-mounting prohibition, pot is enjoying a gradual rehabilitation. So much so that it’s possible to imagine that tobacco and pot will have completely swapped places in another 40 or 50 years, and it’ll be legal to smoke pot in a bar, but illegal to smoke tobacco. And this is all part of a cultural war that’s been being waged for a century or more.
The foregoing are all aesthetic or moral or cultural reasons for disliking smoking. But the principal reason that antismokers hate smoking is that they think that smokers are killing themselves (and also killing everyone around them). Smoking is unhealthy. This belief in the deleterious effects of tobacco is one that has been around ever since tobacco first appeared in the Western world around 1500 AD. But it’s a belief that was vastly strengthened when it was scientifically proven in Nazi Germany and later in post-war Britain and America that smoking caused lung cancer.
Add up all these various reasons for disliking smoking, and they amount to a single overwhelming reason to utterly detest smoking, and to utterly detest smokers. There’s actually no single reason for it, but instead a whole confection of reasons.
In this respect, antismoking is exactly like antisemitism. Antisemites have no single reason for disliking Jews, but instead a whole confection of them: they’re regarded as malodorous, smart, rich, Christ-killing banksters.The individual components of dislike have little force, but added together and complementing each other, they join forces to develop passionate and formidable power.
And this passion is vastly amplified when it becomes institutionalised. For example, in the antisemitic Nazi state. And now in the antismoking BMA, RCP, WHO, and EU. For once they become institutionalised they gain access to money and influence and legislative power.
But we have not reached the end of history in this respect. And so what we must expect to see over the next century or so is the delayed reaction of smokers to the rise of the antismokers. For antismokers are now as intolerable for smokers as smokers were intolerable for antismokers 100 years ago. And for the exact inverse set of reasons.
For if 100 years ago it was impossible to escape from smokers, it’s now impossible to escape antismokers. There are no antismoker-free places. The bullying, busybody antismokers are everywhere.
And antismoking is a filthy habit because it converts sweet, mild tobacco smoke into a form of dirt. The antismokers who see dirt everywhere are projecting their vision onto the world around them. They can make anything seem dirty. But this dirt exists only in their own minds.
And the antismokers are self-indulgent and weak-willed. They can’t resist the temptation to tell everyone else how they should behave. They haven’t the decency to live and let live.
And the antismokers are inconsiderate. They never show any consideration for smokers. They make them stand outside in all weathers. They never give smokers any quarter at all.
And to top it all, the antismokers’ “science”, which they think has scientifically proved that smoking causes lung cancer. isn’t any sort of science at all. It’s actually as much a parody of science as Nazi “racial science” ever was (and to which it is closely related). It’s a smokescreen that employs statistical methods that can be used to “prove” absolutely anything. It’s all done with questionnaires. And nothing is measured accurately.
So all the reasons that antismokers have for hating smokers can be turned on their heads and used by smokers against antismokers.
And in the coming delayed reaction the antismokers will be driven out of society by the returning smokers in exactly the same way as the antismokers drove out the smokers.
And I would add that this delayed reaction is absolutely inevitable. It can’t be stopped (the antismokers’ delayed reaction could not have been stopped either). It’s already starting. I’m part of that delayed reaction myself, in my small way. But there are smokers coming who are going to be far angrier than I am, and far more determined. And they will destroy Tobacco Control. They will utterly destroy it.
The only thing that can be hoped is that the ding-dong battle between smokers and antismokers, that’s been going on for the past 500 years, will gradually lose its intensity, and some sort of peaceful coexistence will eventually be obtained. For there are always going to be antismokers, and there are always going to be smokers.