By Bob Tate


There is a world war going on right now. It is a war against tobacco. It sounds silly doesn’t it? Unfortunately it’s true. The anti tobacco supporters have waged war using one of the oldest strategies, Divide and Conquer. And it’s working to perfection. Tobacco users are allowing this to happen. Not only are they allowing it to happen, they are helping it and sometimes support it. Let me explain a little.

Smokers and tobacco users in general, have fallen victim to the strategy and have been self segregating ourselves. Some of us have forgotten the fact that it shouldn’t be about personal opinions and health issues. It is about our right to choose to enjoy ourselves in a legal activity. The majority of tobacco users have started turning on the other forms of tobacco that differs from the one(s) that they enjoy. They are trying to separate themselves from other people who enjoy the same thing they do, but in different ways.

For some reason, within the past ten years or so, cigarette smokers have become the devils spawn according to those who do not smoke cigarettes. Other smokers and tobacco users have been separating themselves from cigarette smokers and some are even jumping on the antis’ bandwagon about the dangers of cigarette smoking. Let’s be honest, there are health risks involved with all types of tobacco use. If you think otherwise, you are naive and deluding yourself.

As you see, it is easy to get sidetracked on the issue of health instead of the real issue; people imposing their thoughts and opinions of what they think is right and wrong on others and infringing on other peoples rights to choose for themselves.

I have heard and read many negative things from pipe and cigar smokers about cigarette smokers and cigarettes. Are cigarettes the worse form of tobacco use? It’s possible. But I would attribute that to the inhalation of the smoke. Don’t forget that back in the olden days, people used to inhale the smoke from their pipes and cigars. Some still do. One of the things that I constantly hear complained about is how bad cigarettes smell. Well, I am quite sure that there are a lot of people who think cigars smell horrible and I know that there are quite a few pipe tobacco blends that don’t smell too pleasant either. Some pipe and cigar smokers actually blame cigarette smokers for all of the anti tobacco laws that are put in place. This is preposterous. The reason that cigarette smokers were the first ones attacked by the antis is because cigarettes are the largest and most popular form of tobacco used these days. Regardless if you think cigarettes are the worse form of tobacco use or not, or if you think they really stink; if people choose to smoke them they have that right. It is still legal and we must support their choice. We are all fighting the same war, the anti tobacco war.

Some smokers are starting to believe some of the anti’s fact less propaganda. Once again, forgetting the actual point of people having the right to choose and not being forced to do something based on other people’s opinions. Just because someone believes something does not necessarily make it true or a fact. A lot of the antis claims and propaganda are based on theories, opinions, and scare tactics; not facts. There are no hard facts on second hand smoke and now they are starting another theory on third hand smoke that is pretty unbelievable. Well, it is unbelievable if you use some common sense and stop being part of the herd.

Then there is all of the ‘For the Children’ propaganda. Like all of the talk about smoking around children and the second hand smoke theories. According to the antis, it “could” cause all kinds of problems for the children, from respiratory problems all the way to SIDS. If you believe all of that propaganda, the human race should be on the edge of extinction due to generation upon generation of children having all of the problems associated with second hand smoke. Adults have been smoking around children for a couple of hundred years and the children have grown up, reproduced, and their children have reproduced.
I “could” get hit by a car walking across the street. Just because it “could” happen does not make it a fact that it will happen. Keep in mind that smoke is smoke, whether it is from a cigarette, a pipe, or a cigar.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying to go and smoke around children and blow smoke in their faces. Most people should know that it is not a good idea to smoke around kids. I am just using this as an example of the scare tactics that the antis are using without any actual facts to back them up. If they don’t get people to do what they want, they start scaring them with other things.

We have to stand up for other peoples rights to choose to enjoy whatever type of tobacco that they want to enjoy. Whether or not we agree with their choice, we have to stand up for their right to do it. We need to get rid of the mentality that is consuming the world, the mentality of ‘Allow what I like and what I do, but outlaw those things that I don’t like’. This goes for all things, not just tobacco. If you allow one group of peoples rights to be trampled because it doesn’t affect you and you don’t care, or you don’t like what they are doing or don’t agree with it, it won’t be long before your rights are trampled and something you like is no longer allowed.


We have to become united! We have to stop self segregating ourselves! We are all brothers and sisters of the leaf; the tobacco leaf. We have to stop looking at other smokers in a different light. Pipe smokers look at cigar smokers differently. Cigar smokers look at pipe smokers differently. And both groups look down their noses at cigarette smokers. This has to stop! We are all smokers and we are all fighting the same war!

We must ban together and become united. We must stop saying “I don’t care if they raise that tax or ban that type of tobacco because I enjoy a different type”. Tobacco is tobacco, pure and simple. From cigarettes and pipes all the way down to chewing tobacco and nasal snuff. Another thing to keep in mind is, if the antis are really only worried about non-smokers and second hand smoke, why are a lot of school campuses and work places becoming tobacco free zones? Not smoke free, tobacco free. This includes dip, snus, chewing tobacco, and nasal snuff. These tobacco products do no harm to anyone that does not use them. There is no second hand affects with those types of tobacco. The reason why is that they are ANTI TOBACCO supporters and they want ALL tobacco gone!


We must stop helping the antis divide and conquer us. We must stop the self segregation and start banding together before it is too late, and that point is fast approaching. Here is a good website that has a lot of information about tobacco legislation and banding together. Please check it out.

The Smokers Club, Inc.

I am going to close now by quoting two people. The first is Pastor Martin Niemöller and the second is Dylan Thomas.

First they came for the Communists,
But I was not a Communist,
So I said nothing.

Then they came for the Social Democrats,
But I was not a Social Democrat,
So I did nothing.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
But I was not a trade unionist,
So I did not speak out.

And then they came for the Jews,
But I was not a Jew,
So I did little.

Then when they came for me,
There was no one left who could stand up for me. ~ Pastor Martin Niemöller

Do not go gently into that good night.
Rage, rage, against the dying of the light. ~Dylan Thomas




23 Responses to “Divided We Fall: The Self Segregation of Smokers”

  1. Kevin said:

    Excellent post Bob. You are 100% correct. It is really unfortunate that the sub-groups of smokers do not stick together. We have been losing this war for a long time and smoker’s rights are continuing to die a slow death.

  2. python said:

    Here is an article written by G.L. Pease that I found last night. It is a few months old, but it pertains to the same subject.

  3. AlanDP said:

    This is a situation that is not particular to tobacco users. It must be a universal human trait. The same kind of thing applies right now to gun owners, supporters of the Second Amendment and the fundamental right of self defense in the United States. You could change just a few words in the above article, publish it in a gun magazine, and it would still be 100% accurate.

  4. python said:

    I agree Alan. These are sad times that we’re living in right now.

  5. Sandie Abel said:

    Remember the story of the camel’s nose? The one where the camel begs his human to “just let me put my face in the tent”. Then it’s the camel’s neck, the camel’s tail, and finally the human is freezing outside the tent while the camel stays nice and warm.

    That’s the basic strategy of anti smokers, and it works. “Just go smoke in the smoking section, OK?”. Reasonable. Some people are allergic to smoke or get asthma attacks from smoke.

    But it doesn’t end there. If someone can detect the odor of smoke when standing near the smoking section, the smokers must go outside. If someone near the door can smell smoke, it’s stay 100 feet from the door when smoking outside. Bingo! What started as a reasonable request has become a means of stigmatizing and demonizing people.

    If everyone quit smoking tomorrow and never smoked again, guess what? There will still be a #1 leading cause of preventable early death. And that’ll be obesity, which is giving smoking a run for its money right now. If people thought the tobacco industry was a heartless bunch of greedy bastards, wait till they get a load of what monkey wrenches the sugar industry is going to throw into the good-health debate.

    It’s started already. There’s an ad out begging government not to tax “life’s little pleasures” like carbonated syrup and “juice drinks” (which are about 90% sugar water, 5 percent juice, and 5 percent carcinogenic coloring and flavoring agents).

    The law of diminishing returns may finally make itself noticed, but probably not before a lot more people suddenly find themselves outcasts. Smoking, from statistics I’ve seen, increases a person’s chances of early death by 1/4 to 1/3. Looked at another way, a smoker’s chances of living to a ripe old age are somewhere between 3:1 and 4:1.

    Chasing down obesity (by which I mean people who are obese) will create a similar problem. Just what would happen if everyone stopped overeating tomorrow and never started again? “Today’s leading cause of preventable early death is. . .”

  6. python said:

    Great post Sandie!

  7. mate said:

    Bob is Spot on as usual

    I was recently at a political meeting where this same quotation was used

    I am going to close now by quoting two people. The first is Pastor Martin Niemöller and the second is Dylan Thomas.
    First they came for the Communists,
    But I was not a Communist,
    So I said nothing.
    Then they came for the Social Democrats,
    But I was not a Social Democrat,
    So I did nothing.
    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    But I was not a trade unionist,
    So I did not speak out.
    And then they came for the Jews,
    But I was not a Jew,
    So I did little.
    Then when they came for me,
    There was no one left who could stand up for me. ~ Pastor Martin Niemöller

  8. mate said:

    I have to come clean on this one:

    Catholics have this thing about confession:

    Im 54, started smoking cigarettes at 13. Was recently at 3 packs a day.

    I was laid off last October, and I decided that because I was working at home, I could smoke a pipe more.

    Some days are better than others, but I now range between 10 - 20 a day instead of the 60

    Both my parents smoked cigarettes and my father also smoked pipes, at boarding school in Trinidad and later England we were allowed to smoke cigarettes once we were over 15.

    What I have noticed is that when I am on computer, doing something like processing a lot of pic, I just reach for a cigarette. Very often I don’t smoke it all, it just burns out in the ashtray.

    The other thing I have noticed is that when I smoke less cigarettes, I can enjoy the taste of the pipe more.

    What I try to do now, is take out cigarettes for a days ration. These go into a 50gm MacBaren Navy Flake, this way I can keep track of what I smoke.

    As a byline, as a boy I was friendly with a family whose father had flown for RAF Bomber Command in WWII. He was shot down and spent quite a few years in POW Camp. He said the people who had it hardest there were the cigarette smokers. Apparently the addiction is harder to kick than Alcohol or Hard Drugs.

    If any of the other members are having the same problems, would love to hear your thoughts and comments

  9. python said:

    I smoke cigarettes as well. I actually use all forms of tobacco. I smoke pipes, cigars, cigarettes, I enjoy nasal snuff, and I also enjoy chew and dip every now and again.

    I do not apologize for using any form of tobacco. I enjoy it, even the cigarettes. They are legal and they bring me pleasure.

    I am courteous of non-smokers and I don’t smoke around them. Now if the antis (IMO there is a difference between non-smokers and antis) would just leave me the hell alone and not come around me when I am smoking and start their complaining, we all might be a little happier. To quote Hank Williams Sr., “If you mind your own business, then you wouldn’t be minding mine, and it would keep you busy all of the time.”

    I don’t give a damn if it’s politically correct. I don’t live my life to be PC, I live life to enjoy myself and my freedoms, which are rapidly dwindling away.

  10. [...] conclusion, I would like to direct you to one of my previous articles; Divided We Fall – The Self Segregation of Smokers. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest that you do. We need to unite and fight, not divide and [...]

  11. [...] are thankful for the support, but we are frustrated with the finger-pointing, self-segregation of smokers and suggestions to tax other things that are Personal Lifestyle [...]

  12. Jimbo said:

    Excellent piece and replies!

    Was it Ben Franklin who said, “We must all hang together, or we will all hang separately”? A good warning!

  13. oppie said:

    This tobacco thing is one big power grab. After they have tobacco they will move on to something else. Until there is nothing left. Everyone please read The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn. It is 3 volumes. This is whats on the horizon I am afraid.

  14. nameshy said:

    You don’t mention the first Surgeon General’s report of 1964 on smoking distinctions and their effects. Don’t you think that has had something to do with the issue you are raising?

  15. Bob said:


    I am not sure what you mean. Are you replying to my article?

  16. nameshy said:

    Yes. In Divided We Fall” you state “The reason that cigarette smokers were the first ones attacked…is because cigarettes are the largest and most popular form of tobacco.”

    I was asking how you could relate this - and the split between different kinds of smokers - to the impact of the conclusions in the 1964 report and the effect those conclusions had.

  17. jimbo said:

    Excellent points made here.

    We pipe smokers tend to think we are “above” cigarette smokers. Yes, we tend to be snobs in that respect. We look the other way when some nefarious tax increase is directed at cigarettes, saying ‘it doesn’t apply to me’.

    BUT the general (non-smoking) public lumps all of us smokers together. We are affected, directly or indirectly whenever some restriction is placed on smoking/tobacco use. Like it or not, we are all in the same boat, and we’d better start bailing it out before we all sink together.

  18. nameshy said:


    My comment was entered on the “Leave a Reply” section of your “Divided We Fall” article. In that article you explain that the reason that cigarette smokers were the first ones attacked by the antis is because cigarettes are the largest and most popular form of tobacco used these days.

    I wondered if you knew about what took place after the first Surgeon General’s report on smoking and what took place in the country in 1964 and afterward as a result of the comparisons that were presented in that report. The Surgeon General at that time, Luther Terry, quit smoking cigarettes and switched to a pipe.

  19. nameshy said:

    I can’t speak for the general public as a monolith, but a careful reading of the current FDA regulations makes some clear distinctions.

  20. Bob said:


    Thanks for explaining your question a little bit to me. I wasn’t sure if you were responding to the article or a comment by someone.

    I understand what you are saying about the 1964 report. But even though there might have been a small public reaction to it, there was still not that self-segregation between smokers going on in the 1970’s and the early part of the 1980’s.

    In the 1970’s, and to some extint the 1980’s, all smokers smoked together. Cigarettes smokers, pipe smokers, and cigar smokers smoked together and didn’t separate themselves while smoking.

    It seems that the “self-segregation movement” really started in the 1990’s and have continued to grow. There are quite a few retail tobacconist shops that do not allow cigarette smoking in them and there are quite a few cigar shops that will not allow cigarette or pipe smoking.

    The point of my article really doesn’t have anything to do with the 1964 Surgeon’s General report. It has more to do with we as smokers need to stop segregating ourselves, ban together, and stand united and fight against all of the anti-tobacco legislation.

    Like I said in the article, it doesn’t matter what tobacco people choose to smoke. We are all in this together and we are all being attacked.

  21. nameshy said:


    Thanks for the illumination. I’ve never encountered self-segregation among smokers so I guess that’s why it wasn’t part of my mind-set. If anything, smoking seems to give smokers something in common. I did hear that about 100 years ago in England cigar smokers were welcome at posh restaurants but pipe smokers weren’t allowed because pipe smoking was looked on as lower-class because it was so much cheaper.

    I usually find it hard to lump people into groups, but when they all march to the same drummer it gets easier. I think we are at war with the antis - but it’s a complex war. The cigarette companies have the real power and the cigar industry has a very definite edge - but pipe smokers have been left on the fringe, if they are mentioned at all. But they do have at least one ace in the hole: the mortality tables. That’s why they are often grouped separately when federal laws are written.

    Unless we want to be truly quixotic and go down with the ship, we should grab at any chance we have.

  22. [...] Related Articles Divided We Fall: The Self Segregation of Smokers [...]

  23. [...] conclusion, I would like to direct you to one of my previous articles; Divided We Fall – The Self Segregation of Smokers. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest that you do. We need to unite and fight, not divide and [...]



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