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Capnophobia and Fumiphobia

Part 3 of 4

Part 4 of capnophobia

Why Won’t We Kick Their Butts in the UK?

  • If you are waiting for a smoking ban, don’t hold your breath.
  • There are some fundamental principles with which the true libertarian can never compromise.
  • One of them is the inalienable right of idiots to smoke themselves to death.
  • We are entitled to wonder why apparently rational men and women knowingly increase the risks of cancer and heart disease as the willing price they pay for inhaling the fumes of burning leaves.
  • We are allowed to regard the sad little groups of tobacco addicts, smoking in the rain outside nicotine-free office blocks, as both pathetic and ridiculous.
  • If some strange people want to behave in these bizarre ways, we have no right to stop them.
  • Compassion requires tolerance to be matched with care, and the availability of medical treatment should no more be related to intelligence than it is to income.
  • So the health service has a duty to treat smokers, free of charge, when they succumb to one of the ghastly self-inflicted illnesses.
  • Neither John Stuart Mill nor William Beveridge obliges the sensible majority to accept second-hand doses of the diseases which smokers gratuitously endure. In short, Sir Liam Donaldson, the chief medical officer, is right. Smoking should be prohibited in public places.
  • Sir Liam’s report also identified another cause of medical concern.
  • Britain is growing fat.
  • One reason for our increased obesity is record consumption of confectioneries and alcohol.
  • For once I am part of the fashionable trend.
  • I am a stone overweight and addicted to Burgundy and chocolate; but, foolish though I undoubtedly am, I encompass only my own destruction.
  • I do not go into restaurants and force the family at the next table to share my Flake.
  • Nor do I pour cheap wine down the unwilling throats of people who sit next to me in theatres; yet smokers insist I inhale their tobacco fumes.
  • The government argues that bans on smoking in public places should be voluntary—a contradiction in terms.
  • Nobody who has ever sat in a restaurant next to inveterate smokers will believe that slaves to nicotine have the sense or the sensitivity to stop, of their own volition, polluting the air around them.
  • If they were susceptible to the demands of common sense and courtesy, they would not behave like that in the first place.
  • Blowing cigarette smoke into the face of a perfect stranger is antisocial behaviour. By definition, antisocial behaviour has to be prevented by society as a whole.
  • The vested interests complain that banning smoking would be to curtail the freedom of Englishmen, whose homes are castles that stink of smoke.
  • There can be no freedom to spread disease. In any event, the government should not take advice from people who consciously attempt to encourage addiction among children and tried to achieve that aim by marketing a product which, when chewed, developed both a taste for tobacco and cancer of the mouth.
  • Ministers who, after a little hesitation, had the courage to limit tobacco advertising, will recoil from the public ban which would protect us all from other people’s smoking.
  • A ban on advertising, which protects the young and impressionable, is universally popular.
  • Not even the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph could represent safeguarding children’s health as repressive.
  • Prohibiting smoking in public would influence the conduct of adults.
  • So put aside the distinction between the smokers’ right to harm themselves and to harm others; the newspapers which influence the government are not interested in moral philosophy.
  • If you are waiting for a ban to become law, do not hold your breath—unless you are in a public place. Then it is essential to your health and well-being.

When I don’t smoke, I scarcely feel as if I’m living. I don’t feel as if I’m living unless I’m killing myself.

—Russell Hoban


It is now proved beyond doubt that smoking is one of the leading causes of statistics.

—Fletcher Knebel
Reader’s Digest, December, 1961


A custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black, stinking fume thereof, nearest resembling the horrible Stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless.

—King James I of England (1566-1625)

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