Like my old friend Chris Tame, who abhorred smoking and thought it was a disgusting and filthy habit, but for some of his life worked for FOREST, and with deep sincerity about the necessary liberty of the individual to decide, I would not smoke even if you paid me. Well……..now you’re offering, of course every Man has his price, but in my case it would be quite high, say £100,000 a year tax-paid, for life. You’d have to be able to wave goodbuy to about 5 million of capital.
The current lack of defence of smokers in the UK, in the face of a staggeringly cruel and merciless onslaught by the Nazi Smoke-Police, has I think its roots in the former hubris with which smokers freely (it was of course allowed) polluted the air in offices, rooms, trains, pubs and the like, without (mostly) asking if they might be allowed. When, until the late 70s, they were a majority of adults, I guess this was tough but inevitable.
The point is, because we all felt so put-upon by their habit and its nasty smells, when we couldn’t do a thing about it, we are failing to defend them now. They had their hubris, and now they suffer nemesis, and we feel schadenfreude at their bad fortune; but “first they came for the smokers….and I didn’t speak up for I was not a smoker”……You KNOW what I am going to say next…..so, we SHOULD act….but we won’t, will we. however, I can’t walk by an office front door, complete now with its pair of sad, cold smokers cowering both from the rain and from public gaze, without feeling a pang of pity for the poor buggers.
The battle-lines we are at now started to be drawn about 1980 when the State first assaulted the right of tobacco companies to advertise without restrictions. they shot themselves and the free world in the foot when they chose voluntarily to fight on the wrong ground. they should have screeched CENSORSHIP and FREE SPEECH, and IF IT’S LEGAL TO SELL, IT’S LEGAL FOR US TO SAY WHAT WE WANT WHERE WE WANT TO……but they didn’t…..they fought on “advertising is for making customers switch brands, not to sell more fags”.
So of course, even a fascist lefty prohibitionist could get them for not only cowardice, but hypocrisy. they got what they deserved – an outright ban on promotion, PLUS all those horrible, humiliating l;abels on packs. I mean, if YOU sold something that was legal to purchase, would you be able to hold your head up in the street, in front o those who know you or not, if it had to say on every pack……
” MY PRODUCT KILLS PEOPLE IN HORRIBLE SAD PAINFUL WAYS, ALL THE TIME”
“THE STATE DOCTOR SAYS YOU MUST NOT HAVE THIS PRODUCT”
“MY PRODUCT GIVES YOU LUNG CANCER”
Bet you would, too, and all. You’re just like the tobacco companies. That’s why we’re in the mess we are in in the UK, and that’s why this blog has to exist.
But back to the TITLE subject! The same university (UBC) which I wrote about yesterday has another interesting article (six reasons why I choose to smoke) and I can’t help agreeing with the guy’s sentiments, even if I wouldn’t want to partake myself. The comment threads are almost as good as the essay. Enjoy. I like these people, and I think I’ll check what they write about more often.