Sadistic, Bullying, Antismoking Prison Guards

The war on smoking is a moral crusade. The antismokers in Tobacco Control regard themselves as virtuous in fighting their war on tobacco. They see themselves as Doing the Right Thing. They regard themselves as saintly figures – holy men and women who are teaching people to be good. They are convinced that the world would be a better place without tobacco.

The first antismoker I ever encountered – Dr W – regarded smoking as a “filthy” habit. And so his objection to smoking was an aesthetic judgement: he didn’t like dirt. He was also a gardener who grew cabbages and peas and potatoes in his garden, and would return from his garden with muddy boots and soiled hands. So the habit of gardening to which he was addicted could equally have been said to be a “filthy” habit, and indeed a far filthier habit than smoking.

But antismokers also regard smoking as an “unnatural” habit. They think it’s unnatural for people to inhale smoke – any smoke – into their lungs. They think that this is not what lungs are for, and inhaling smoke into them is a form of self-abuse. Such arguments from nature could be applied elsewhere. For if it is “natural” for men to walk around on their legs, then it is “unnatural” of them to ride horses, or drive cars, or fly around on planes or rockets.  Even riding bicycles or roller skates must be condemned as an abhorrent, unnatural practice.

And finally, of course, antismokers regard smoking as an “unhealthy” habit. They believe that not only Smoking Causes Lung Cancer. but that it causes more or less every other malady known to man (at least according to the health warnings on tobacco packets).

Add them all up, and smoking is a “filthy”, “unnatural”, and “unhealthy” habit, to which smokers are also “enslaved” or “addicted”. Verily, the antismokers have a Royal Flush of arguments against smoking, and this is what gives them their vast sense of moral superiority. their peculiar virtuousness. The antismoker sees himself or herself, quite simply, as a better person than the smoker.

And it’s probably this moral supremacy which  allowed them to capture the legislatures in every single country in the world. For what lawmaker could contradict them without appearing to be in league with the devil himself (as personified in tobacco companies)? Politicians everywhere have fallen over each other in their enthusiasm to legislate against smoking, and thereby cloak themselves in a mantle of virtue.

But once the antismokers gained the force of law behind their moral crusade, and began to force smokers to stop smoking, they also began to lose their virtue. Any act is only virtuous to the extent that it is freely chosen. If there is any virtue in giving up smoking, it must lie in the smoker freely renouncing the habit of his own volition. There is nothing virtuous about a smoker who has stopped smoking because he has been forced to give up smoking. Such a smoker is not doing his own will: he’s doing what somebody else wants him to do, he’s obeying orders. And quite likely, because it was not his own wish to stop smoking, he’ll start smoking again as soon as he gets the opportunity to do so.

Smoking bans that force smokers to stop smoking remove from them the ability to freely choose to stop smoking. Smoking bans make slaves of smokers, only this time slaves to the law rather than slaves of their habit. Smoking bans remove freedom of choice. The smoking bans that are being introduced more or less everywhere in the world are turning the whole world into a prison filled with obedient prisoners.

And at the same time they are turning the zealous antismokers in Tobacco Control into prison wardens. And the more savagely and brutally that smoking is punished (e.g. by evicting smokers from their homes, or driving them outside the gates of hospitals) the more the antismokers take on the appearance of sadistic, bullying, prison guards.

In this manner, the moral virtue of the antismokers is evaporating. There is no virtue in being a sadistic, bullying, prison guard, as any number of sadistic, bullying, prison guards have found out to their dismay as they were led to the gallows.

This loss of virtue was inevitable once the antismokers made their unholy alliance with state power, and began forcing smokers to stop smoking, instead of simply encouraging them to freely choose to stop smoking. But given the opportunity, the antismokers could not turn down the opportunity to forcibly impose their will on smokers. They couldn’t resist becoming tyrants. And they couldn’t resist losing their virtue.

And so now, 20 or 30 years since they started their bullying, state-sponsored war on smoking, there has ceased to be anything virtuous about giving up smoking, or anything virtuous about the bullies in Tobacco Control. They are all, quite obviously, very nasty people indeed. They are all, in fact, utter bastards.

And they have done an enormous amount of damage, as they have destroyed communities, set friend against friend, driven smokers outdoors, evicted them, excluded them, insulted them, and robbed them. Where’s the virtue in that? There is no virtue in it at all.

And a few legislators are beginning to be able to see it for themselves. Nigel Farage is clearly one of them. And maybe (just maybe) Boris Johnson can see it too. So, after initially enthusiastically supporting the persecution of smokers, more and more politicians are losing their enthusiasm for yet more bans and yet higher taxes. Politicians in some countries (e.g. Austria) are even actively campaigning against smoking bans. And what is now a trickle is likely to become a rush, as more and more politicians jump off a once-virtuous antismoking bandwagon which no longer seems in the least bit virtuous at all.

And once Tobacco Control loses state support, all the antismokers will be left with will be the threadbare moral arguments with which they began, and which will seem all the more empty given how thoroughly nasty they have shown themselves to be over these past few decades.

Tobacco Control is going to be destroyed. And it is going to be utterly destroyed.

About Frank Davis

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9 Responses to Sadistic, Bullying, Antismoking Prison Guards

  1. Timothy Goodacre says:

    The world is mad when it is more acceptable to smoke canabis, take cocaine, than to smoke a cigarette !

  2. Smoking Lamp says:

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.” — C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock

  3. Smoking Lamp says:

    Now this is really too much! Just saw this at the Guardian…

    “Catalonia plans to introduce outdoor smoking ban”

    According to the article (which exudes a distinct antismoker bias), “Proposed changes would outlaw smoking outside bars and restaurants, in sports grounds and cars”.

    The antismoker sentiment is captured here: “Ever since smoking was banned indoors, the number of venues with outdoor spaces has grown , with terraces serving as de-facto smoking areas making them no-go zones for anyone who does not want to breathe in second-hand smoke while enjoying a beer or a coffee.”

    Of course no concern for smokers and their desire to be able to smoke indoors or outside, just an unbridled attack on smokers.

  4. waltc says:

    The “moral superiority” thing is certainly now the province of the “progressives” as I imagine it is of the Remainers. They are both morally and intellectually oh-so-vastly superior to the deplorable rabble who think or act otherwise. To speak or act in opposition to them is to demonstrate one’s cretinous stupidity if not downright evil, to demonstrate one’s “addiction” to guns, gods and other backward ideas (like stubbornly insisting there are two sexes and that English grammar should be left as it is–nouns, pronouns, adjectives and all) so fewer and fewer dare to speak up. Thus is cultural samizdat born.

  5. Lepercolonist says:

    We should commemorate all those smokers at Mission Control in Houston for the successful landing on the moon 50 years ago. I read that more than half were smokers. When Neal Armstrong stepped out, the expensive cigars were lit. Same revelry at final splashdown.
    Impossible in today’s oppressive environment. I wonder if you can even get a job at NASA if you use tobacco.

  6. slugbop007 says:

    No more passing cigars around in the hospital corridors after the birth of a child. Das ist verboten!


  7. Luke says:

    What an amazing and sound piece of writing that speaks to my heart, thank you so much!

    There is one more aspect to this that is even more verboten to talk about than the moral vices of the anti-smoking crusaders: namely the shameless exaggeration, and indeed often downright invention, of the health hazards smoking supposedly causes. In fact, smoking actually seems to have benefits for many people, especially tobacco that doesn’t have loads of additives in it. But I guess readers of this blog know that already :) Thanks again.

  8. guard4her says:

    Fairly typical guilty addict behavior here. Try to deflect guilt by finding things wrong with others and blaming them. Addicts need to understand that they are guilty no matter what is wrong with anybody else.
    Real men can break bad habits. Wise men don’t begin them.

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