In 1978, the American novelist Stephen King - one of the contemporary masters of horror - published a short story called Quitters, Inc.
You can read a synopsis of it on that font of all knowledge Wikipedia
, suffice it to say that the methods used by this somewhat bizarre counselling service were extreme, to put it mildly. Would the anti-smoking lobby in Britain and elsewhere be prepared to go that far? They haven't yet got around to using electric shocks, beatings or cutting off people's fingers, but give them time and they'll get round to it.
Can there be a man or woman on the face of this planet who doesn't realise there are very real health hazards attached to smoking? Educating people, giving them the true facts, and assistance where it is wanted, is one thing. Spouting lies, self-serving statistics
and using repressive legislation, punitive taxation and moral blackmail in order to force them to stop or even to criminalise them is another thing entirely.
, Britain's leading Libertarian since 2006, doesn't think much of these tactics. Nor about the way Harry Elphick was treated. If the name is not familiar to you, Sean has written a bit about the way he was treated - or not treated - here
The latest piece of repressive anti-smoking legislation comes into force on April 6; from that date if you are shopping in your local supermarket, you may have to ask one of the staff to direct you to the cigarettes. Here's why
. A real brainwave that, isn't it? We won't put the things on display, so people won't buy them. Why don't they try that with marijuana, heroin and crack cocaine? Oh, they have.
Seriously, if you smoke but want to stop, check out TakeTheLeap
, or any of the other on-line or real world resources that are paid for out of your taxes. But don't let fascistic bureaucrats make your life a misery; there is also FOREST
. And if you want a more objective view of the real dangers of smoking, check out these publications
by Judith Hatton, the views of Simon Wolff
, and the foundation
set up in his memory.