Six reasons why you might choose to smoke

David Davis

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…… 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…, 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……




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.

18 responses to “Six reasons why you might choose to smoke

  1. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Matt Hanson

  2. Thank you Matt. Replies like yours are the best encouragement we can have. Consider yourself the recipient of a “virtual drink”, on us!

  3. Dave:

    For my penny-worth, as a former ‘Regional Representative’ in the South-West for ‘FOREST’, the attack on smoking is just an extension of the so-called “War on Drugs.”

    Statistics plainly show that none of the ‘prohibited’ drugs are as dangerous to your health as smoking and drinking are. What do you expect the ‘Drug Warriors’ to do? Allow drugs to be decriminalized?? Fold up their tents and slink away? C’mon! >:-}



  4. Well, in your comment about hubris, I think you’re making the mistake of judging the behaviour of people in the past by the standards of today. Back in those “hubristic” times, smoking was the norm. The majority of adults smoked, smoking was a social activity, offering cigarettes around a social nicety. The minority who actively hated it were considered to be thumb-up-the-rear puritan weirdos, which they were. You can hardly act as if a few inconsiderate smokers were ruining things for everybody else; the vast majority smoked, and suggesting e.g. one shouldn’t smoke while having a pint would have been considered bizarre. The cultural hegemony that has been now imposed upon us is very different, but you can’t expect people 50 years ago to have known they’d become the target of hateful harpies.

    The fury against smoking is little to do with those nasty smokers “polluting” the air. It goes hand in hand with hatred of alcohol, hatred of tasty food, hatred of people dancing without an official license. The haters are puritans by nature. Smoking, drinking, tasty food, dancing, these are all sensuous pleasures. They are things people do which have no purpose other than enjoyment. Puritans believe every person should commit their life to higher ideals; being closer to God or, for secular puritans, being healthier or cleaner or more rational and so on. Such a worldview has no room for purposeless pleasure; it is a distraction and impediment to the goal of attaining spiritual purity. Thus it must be regulated, prevented.

    The Progressive/Left had a strong grounding in religious ideas of reform, which had very puritanical ideals; pietism, the Social Gospel, Methodism. Look at the townlets created by those early progressive grandees (businessmen with religous reform ideas) with names like Port Sunlight. You’ll find invariably that pubs were banned, for “reform” reasons.

    The Proggies managed to illegalise drugs (one such purposeless pleasure) in the 1920s. They briefly achieved the same for alcohol (and are now staging a fightback on that one with their “binge drinking” moral panic). Smoking was their next target after those two, and an easy one once the cancer link was discovered- it became their poster child. They’re working very hard, and with great success, on depriving us of enjoyable food too. Again if you look back at the early progressives, they were against “refined” food long before any suggestion of measurable health benefits or harm could be made by science.

    They just don’t like people enjoying sensual pleasures. This is the most significant thing driving them. War on Drugs, War on Smoking, War on Alcohol, War on Food (and undercover council ninnies checking nobody’s having a boogie to the jukebox in The Dog And Duck).

    The only blame smokers of the past have is in enjoying their ciggies, and thus making themselves a target for the miserable gits who now run the world.

  5. I can’t disagree, Ian. My point was really that now i just feel sorry for the poor buggers, and I wish that more was done to defend their free choice to smke , nased on a liberal free human position.

  6. Thanks for replying David.

    Right now, the people I feel sorriest for are plump people. Smokers have been getting it in the neck for years, but at least smoking is a free choice. Anyone can choose to start, and anyone can choose to stop (even if that’s difficult, it’s still achievable). But now the harpies have had their big win with smoking, it’s open season on any group they care to attack, and I think it takes a special kind of grotestque nastiness to bring smoking-level hatred to bear on people who are chubby. It’s nothing more than schoolkids taunting the fat kid in the playground, but at an officially sanctioned government-backed level. It’s utterly beneath contempt and beyond comprehension.

  7. Ian,
    Sorry for that rather hasty and rough reply – I was at the house of a student, and chose informally to demostrate what “blogging” was all about, as I thought it would interest her, and it did. (In most houses now I can get on their wireless connection as the parents are all only too pleased to let me have the WPA key, so we can do wiki and stuff when required. I just store them all and can be “on” almost anywhere.)

    I agree totally about the puritan mentality; the problem with smoking was that, although of course everybody did it until quite recently (it was compuslory to smoke when I went up to university in 1969, even if you hated it and felt sick doing it – I did, and was absolved from trying after about 6 weeks of torment) a sizeable minority of ordinary rational people thought the smell was disgusting (it is.) I don’t know whether the Puritans were among this (I suspect they were and are, it just makes their choice of policy-position easier.)

    As to food, you are right that they are making sizeable inroads into freedom here. I suspect we will come to a point where they will just have to be killed. History shows us that terrorism eventually pays, always.

  8. Dave and Ian:

    I’m genuinely surprised that we don’t hear more about a genre of products which neatly circumvent the prohibition of “smoking.”

    These products look exactly like filter-tipped cigarettes. They have a carbon tip; a cylindrical white tube; and the filter tip. They contain wadding impregnated with nicotine and flavourings.

    You light them in the usual way, holding a match to the carbon tip, which glows in a satisfying way each time you inhale. The warm air passes through the wadding, taking up nicotine and flavourings. The sensation in your mouth is like that of cigarette smoke. And you get your nicotine ‘hit.’

    But there is no smoke! Not from the tip, nor from your exhalation.

    I wouldd have thought that smokers could make a fortune by ‘smoking’ these ciggies in public places, then suing Hell out of the Health Fascists who order them to stop or even attack them.

    I have a Honda proverb on my bedroom wall: “Hate Something: Change Something.”

    “Vorsprung Durch Technic!”



  9. Hmm Tony, I’m not sure that they would necessarily appeal to smokers. This is just MHO of course. Part of the problem is that the discussion on smoking is always entirely a discussion about addiction. The sensual aspects are ignored.

    As a parallel, consider drinking alcohol. People drink it for the drug, yes, but they drink a pint of ale or a glass of wine for the sensual properties- the taste, the texture, the scent. If you said to drinkers “here, you don’t need Wadsworth 6X now, here’s a substitute product that will give you the alcohol hit” I don’t think drinkers would be interested. This is a general problem- the entire debate is entirely based, as is the flawed reasoning of sociocrats in general, on the measurable. You can measure nicotine content, but you can’t measure pleasure. So in the social-wallah’s world, that which cannot be measured simply doesn’t exist. This is particularly acute in discussion of illicit drugs. People talk endlessly about addiction, but ignore the fact that the reason people take these drugs (and perhaps become addicted) is because they are pleasurable.

    Back with smoking, we’d have to remember that the HF’s use a two pronged switcheroo approach. One minute they justify their laws on harm to others (passive smoking); if you refute that they simply switch to another social costs argument (smokers themselves are a burden on society). If you tried to lift the smoking ban by successfully circumventing the passive smoke problem, the bastard still have their “it is our responibility to reduce smoking, social costs, blah blah” argument to fall back on. Our leaders have clearly stated that their intention is discrimination to “persuade” smokers to stop smoking.

    On the fatness thing I mentioned above, I’ve just found out something quite interesting which other people may already know but I didn’t. This heinous BMI figure was invented by Adolphe Quetelet in the earlyish 19th century. Quetelet wasn’t a doctor, he was a physicist who became interested in the idea of a “social physics”. IOW, it is, and always has been, a sociological measure not a medical one. It seems we owe Quetelet the whole bizarre idea that there is an ideal “average” man who we should all strive to be. Bastard.

    I found this because after havign posted here it started me thinking about BMI, wondered how it is calculated, and Google told me it’s your mass divided by the square of your height.

    And my immediate thought was, how can this be? Volume (and thus mass) scale as the cube of any single dimension, not the square!

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  14. Oh dear Lord, this is strange. I wake up bright and early and, as is my wont, check the LA Blog, and find that another Ian B has written exactly what I would have written even down to the reference to BMI and Adolphe Quetelet!

    So, um, I, Ian B agree with everything that Ian B(1) has just said. I think I’ll start a sort of anti-puritan cult in which everyone has to call themselves Ian B, like all the Objectivists had to call themselves Rand.

  15. PS the post from Matt Hanson is a spambot.

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