I sometimes wonder whether they’ll ever stamp out smoking.
And the answer seems to be that they won’t. After all, they’ve been trying for over 100 years without success. Over 400 years if you go back to James I.
And their problem may be very simple. Smokers like smoking, and antismokers hate smoking. Antismokers are driven by hatred. They want to stop something. They want to control and restrict something. They don’t have a positive vision of some sort of better world. They have a negative vision of a world from which something has been subtracted.
“Smoke-free” means free of smoke, minus smoke. It doesn’t mean free in the sense of increased freedom of choice. It means free in the sense of absence of choice.
So they have an uphill battle as they try to prohibit something rather than encourage something.
The alcohol prohibitionists have the same problem. And that may be why Prohibition failed. Prohibition looked for a diminished world with a restricted range of choice.
And the prohibitionists always exaggerate the threat posed by whatever it is they’re trying to prohibit. Most smokers aren’t killed by smoking, and most drinkers aren’t killed by alcohol. Same is true of carbon dioxide.
Prohibitionists of whatever stripe are obsessed with evil. Theirs is a world in which they are fighting one satanic evil after another. And most of these evils are things that other people like or enjoy, that other people see as good.
So it comes down to a fight between good and evil, between love and hate.
Amor Vincit Omnia: love wins over everything.