The Disease of Antismoking

About 6½ minutes into her interview of Dmitry Kosyrev, Emily W asked him if he thought that scaremongering about tobacco was a Western idea. And Dmitry agreed that this “ugly example” was “a Western disease.”

He’s quite right, of course. Antismoking is a Western disease. It’s a Western epidemic disease. In fact it’s now a pandemic. And it’s a pandemic disease that is spread by doctors.

Over my lifetime I’ve witnessed this disease gradually taking hold of society, little by little. As I have remarked many times, the first antismoker I ever encountered was Dr W, in whose household I lived for several months in 1965. But within a year I had come across a case of a fellow university student who was a vocal antismoker. And of course around that time the medical profession, and most notably the US Surgeon General, were incessantly warning about smoking and lung cancer. There was a steady drumbeat of warnings. And smokers that I knew were cutting down or giving up smoking, one by one. My own brother was one of these.

Back in the 1960s, when I started smoking, smokers were already in gradual slow retreat before the medical onslaught against smoking. It was quite common for smokers to tell their friends that they were “cutting down”, or for them to politely refuse a cigarette by saying “Thank you, but I’m trying hard to cut back on smoking.” Everyone was terrified of getting lung cancer. Who wouldn’t be? And it was a frequent occurrence to hear people proudly announce that they’d finally “kicked the habit” (although very often you’d find them back smoking a few weeks later). And also, back in the 1960s and 70s and 80s, nobody was in the least bit bothered by other people’s smoke. This new phase of the disease (akin to the appearance of buboes in the armpits) came later.

The disease of antismoking spread slowly through British society. It didn’t come in a rush, overnight, like pot smoking. It spread very gradually. And the usual symptoms were firstly an expressed wish to stop smoking, followed by several (usually failed) attempts to “cut down” or “quit”. Eventually the attempts to quit would be successful, and smokers would become ex-smokers. But they were usually tolerant ex-smokers who did not object to anyone else smoking. It was only later, when the disease of antismoking had taken a deeper hold that people started worrying about other people’s smoke, and banning smoking everywhere.

The disease of antismoking is driven by fear. It’s a fear that was inculcated into the population by a slow, steady drip of antismoking propaganda. Even though they were perfectly healthy, smokers started worrying about their health.

And the anxieties would gnaw away at them slowly, like cancer. The disease of antismoking is a slowly growing fear, firstly of lung cancer, and then of cancer in general, and finally of all disease. And this mounting terror is itself a kind of cancer, a kind of disease. Antismokers are people who have become paralysed with fear. And this terror gradually extends to smokers on the other side of a pub or restaurant, and then to smokers who live in the same apartment block or street. It is also a form of demonic possession.

If this slowly-mounting anxiety, this gradually-growing terror, did not afflict me, it was because Dr W inadvertently inoculated me against it. For when Dr W stood shouting at the top of his voice in the hallway of his house against the “filthy, filthy, filthy” habit of smoking, he taught me that his intense dislike of tobacco did not grow out of sober and rational medical considerations, but originated in moral and aesthetic judgments. After all, if he’d been worried about health, he would have called it a “poisonous, dangerous, destructive” habit. And he would have gently explained the dangers to the son he was shouting at. A “filthy” habit is a “dirty” habit, like reading “dirty” books or looking at “dirty” pictures. And, recognising that this very senior doctor’s (he appeared on TV to speak for the BMA) objections to smoking were moral rather than medical, at the age of 17 I realised that the doctor-driven campaign against smoking was a moral crusade rather than a medical crusade. It was exactly the same sort of moral crusade as those conducted against alcohol or drugs or pornography or prostitution. And that was when my fear of tobacco left me. But for Dr W, I would probably now be as frightened of tobacco as anyone else. And I should count him a benefactor.

The disease of antismoking is a disabling disease. It stops people being able to smoke. It stops people from being able to enjoy life. For, quite aside from his intense hatred of smoking, Dr W was also unable to laugh or smile. He was a profoundly afflicted man. His was a terminal condition of the antismoking disease

Antismoking ought to be recognised as a real disease, and as a transmissible disease. It’s various symptoms ought to be described. And treatments or therapies ought to be devised. What begins as a slight anxiety gradually develops, over many years, into a full-blown phobia in which tobacco smoke is imagined to be more and more dangerous, and capable of going through walls and along telephone cables. It’s a form of madness.

However, because the disease of antismoking seems to principally affect doctors, and has become endemic in the medical profession, it must be for people outside the medical profession to recognise it as a disease, and campaign for its eradication.

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12 Responses to The Disease of Antismoking

  1. Rose says:

    Frank, you may not have been following the Extinction Rebellion clogging up London these past few days, but what has stuck most in my mind was an interview with a young man, around late teens to early twenties, with tears rolling down his face because he had been convinced by years of hearing only activist led, one sided science and silencing of all debate, that his was the last generation on earth.

    Tobacco Contol’s antics in the field of propaganda and silencing of all critics, are nothing compared to this monumental wickedness.


    A bedtime story about drowning kittens and puppies… Labour’s £6m campaign to highlight the dangers of climate change

    “It begins with the heartwarming family scene of a father reading a story to his daughter.
    But the bedtime tale turns out to be a terrifying account of drowning puppies, rabbits dying of thirst and the end of the world as we know it.
    The ad, being broadcast at prime-time as part of a £6million campaign, shows a father telling his daughter a story about climate change destroying the world.
    Cartoon images appear on screen: A puppy drowns in floods, a kitten floats by on an upturned table and a rabbit weeps as drought sweeps the earth.

    The father tells his daughter that scientists say the ‘strange weather’ is being caused ‘by too much CO2, which went up into the sky when the grown ups used too much energy’.
    He tells her that if ‘grown-ups’ turned off things such as lightbulbs ‘maybe they could save the land for the little children’–Labours-6m-campaign-highlight-dangers-climate-change.html

    And here he is now, ten years on and all grown up, convinced he is part of the last generation ever.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I have been taking notice. From Breitbart:

      Eco-extremist group Extinction Rebellion discussed “shutting down” Heathrow Airport on Good Friday after bringing London to a standstill for four days.
      The group, which calls for extreme measures to stop alleged man-made climate change including overhauling democracy and stopping the usage of all fossil fuels in just six years, made the suggestions in a leaked private WhatsApp group chat between demonstration leaders, according to The Mirror.
      In a message headed “dear rebels,” the eco-activists discussed attacking the aviation industry after bringing London’s roads and one DLR line to a halt this past week, saying, “Tomorrow we raise the bar. We are going to shut down Heathrow.

      But there’s also a schoolkids’ protest:

      A fresh wave of youth strikes for climate action will hit towns and cities across the UK on Friday, as a government report revealed that the nation is set to miss its emissions targets.
      More than 60 demonstrations involving tens of thousands of young people are expected from Parliament Square in London to sites in Leeds, Manchester and Brighton. They follow the global strike on 15 March, when more than 1 million young people across the world took action to demand rapid action to tackle the climate crisis.

      And there’s just been a David Atenborough scare-documentary that James Delingpole has been complaining about:

      Delingpole: ‘Climate Change: The Facts’ Was the BBC’s Biggest Lie Ever

      It seems to be a new concerted attempt to foist Climate Alarmism on us all.

      • Rose says:

        Children and young persons are an excellent choice because they have a short memory, and so are unable to make proper comparissons and can only base their judgement on what they have been taught.

        What puzzles me is who benefits from letting this get so far out of hand? Carbon trading was a brilliant wheeze, something out of literally nothing and green taxes are an obvious lure, but why frighten children into hysteria like this.

  2. slugbop007 says:

    The Ontario government just slashed $1 billion dollars from its annual health care budget and the healthcare cartel is screaming bloody murder.

    Here is a report from the Fraser Institute on Canadian healthcare budgets from 2016:

    The Price of Public Health Care Insurance 2017 – Fraser Institute

    Click to access price-of-public-health-care-insurance-2017.pdf


    • Rhys says:

      IIRC, they’re cutting a billion from public health over the next ten years. It’s too much to hope that it’ll be the anti smoking budget.

  3. Clicky says:

  4. waltc says:

    Mass hysteria. A return to the Dark Ages. Crusades. Superstitions, “Give me a child for the first seven years…” and I’ll train him what to project his angst on. Dragons, Witches. Jews. Communists. Smokers. Climate.. Whites. Men. Societies quickly sinking into a pit of irrationality. The cartoon bearded men on the corner with the sandwich board exhorting “Repent! The end of the world is at hand!” replaced by children with apocalyptic placards storming the halls of the U.S. Senate and shouting down anyone who believes there are two biological sexes. A covilization committing suicide.

  5. Smoking Lamp says:

    Fear is the ultimate tool of social control. The anti-tobacco movement, like its twin Temperance and now climate alarmism are mechanisms of social disruption intended to usher in a new ‘progressive’ era. If only that was true… Rather than being a means of positive social progress (what ever that is, since the elusive goal is in the eye off the beholder) it devolves into hyper-identity politics and sectarianism in the name of power. Violence, repression, and totalitarian mechanisms are the result.

    A recent article (from a theological/cultural perceptive at Tablet Magazine) examines the peril that accompanies this cult-like quest for power from a Jewish perspective. “Progressive Replacement Theology” looks at “Why the left is repeating Christianity’s most dangerous historical mistakes…” Too bad the ‘progressives’ don’t ground their future agenda on a balanced assessment of the past. All that said, the persecution of smokers is part of this social disease!

  6. slugbop007 says:

    In 1991 I was on Welfare. I was given a project to work on or else lose my monthly payments. My employer was a multicultural magazine that no longer exists, subsized by the Quebec government, and my project subject was Equatorial Guinea. I dscovered to my dismay that this country had once been a Paradise on Earth. Over time, though, it was ruined by Spanish colonialists, followed by the Belgians. In pre-colonial days food grew without much toiling on the part of the natives and the fruits fell off of the trees, ripe for eating. Easy living. All that changed when a dictatorship was propped up in the late 80s by the Belgians and the people were conscripted to perform hard labor, digging up precious resources and the like. So it goes. (Kurt Vonnegut Jr., ‘Slaughterhouse Five’).

    I remember reading a Guardian book review at least ten years ago or so. The author wrote about Idleness. I never bought it and now I can’t remember the author’s name or the title of his book. I have been living idly for the past fifty years, practing hard and waiting in vain for the ushering in of The Leisure Society. An ex girlfriend of mine some forty plus years ago told me that one of her teachers at a private girls school told her class that the Leisure Society was just around the corner. That was in the mid 1970s. So it goes.


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