The anti-smoking movement is hoping to stop smoking through policies such as:
- increased taxes
- pub and car bans
- a policy of denormalisation (no really – I’m not making that up!)
But despite the protests of smoker’s rights groups, these are nothing compared to what anti-smokers did in the past:
The first person to smoke in Europe, Rodrigo de Jerez, also became the first victim of the anti-smoking lobby, jailed for several years by the inquisition.
Czar Alexander whipped smokers and slit their noses.
Shah Shefi poured hot lead down the throats of tobacco sellers, while the Czar Alexander decapitated repeat offenders. Turkey, Persia and India also killed nicotine users. (More recently, Banzhaf of Action on Smoking and Health argued smokers should be treated as murderers, making them liable to capital punishment in some states.)
Sending Smokers to Hell
His Holiness Pope Clement VIII threatened excommunication to anyone who smoked in a holy place.
Whatever authorities tried, people still smoked.
So perhaps it’s not surprising that the smoking rate in Scotland has risen, not fallen, since the smoking ban was introduced.
Maybe it’s also now time to tell smokers who can’t give up nicotine, but would like to be healthier, about low risk but very enjoyable alternatives such as e-cigarettes and snus.
What do you think?
Will tax rises, graphic warnings and smoking bans succeed where prison, pain, torture, death and the threat of the hell have failed? Or will we continue our vices, no matter how much the fun police tries to stop us?