Different consumers use different types of tobacco. There are cigarette smokers, cigar smokers and pipe smokers.
Cigarette smokers are the most vilified people in today’s society, short of child predators, but not by much.
Pipes and cigars are considered "luxury tobaccos" and cigarettes are considered to be different, and rightly so in many ways. Cigarettes are a habit to provide a nicotine fix. I’m not sure why that’s so bad when people that drink coffee all day are left well enough alone. Let’s not even get into all the people that can’t even function throughout their day without their Lexapro, Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac, or Cymbalta.
Personally, I do not smoke cigarettes as I do not like them. I tried them once a long time ago and it never stuck. So there’s one example that doesn’t go along with the hyperbolic instant addiction stories that are so readily bandied about. However, that is not what this article is about.
I am here to tell you that us pipe smokers and cigar smokers better be damned well concerned about what’s going on in the anti-cigarette crusades. While they mainly focus on cigarettes, did you ever hear any of these efforts actually referred to as I just did – as anti-cigarette? I doubt it. You always hear about anti-tobacco and anti-smoking efforts. The point is that these efforts crossover into luxury tobaccos.
This week, in Uruguay, there is a gathering of public health officials from 171 nations where they plan to agree on guidelines to enforce a global anti-smoking treaty.
One of the recommendations would either restrict or prohibit the use of popular additives, like licorice and chocolate, to blended tobacco products. These are typically used in the processing of Burley tobaccos and in several pipe tobaccos.
As I said, I don’t like cigarettes, but I also do not like to eat liver. Just because I don’t like liver doesn’t mean that someone that does should not be able to make their own choice to enjoy it or not. If you want to smoke cigarettes, then smoke away.
The problem is that since cigarette smokers have been so maligned, us folks that enjoy pipes and cigars often side with the "antis" against them. The reasoning is that we do not want to be grouped in with the people that have that "nasty habit". What we do not realize is that we are already being put into that group by the anti-tobacco people. Siding with the antis against cigarette smokers is not going to make them take you out of the overall evil tobacco-user group. Instead, you are helping them get rid of the cigarettes first, so then they can come after your luxury tobaccos next.
Last week, the FDA announced their new rules for warnings on cigarette packs. The warnings take up half the pack and show disgusting, absurdly exaggerated images. I am aghast at this proposal. How long do you think it will be before we have these warnings on luxury tobacco? Don’t think it can’t happen. In Europe they have had laws for many years where they have huge type taking up half a pipe tobacco tin exclaiming "SMOKING KILLS". (I smoke pipe tobacco every day and I feel great.)
What would happen if the FDA said that Lexapro, Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac, and Cymbalta all needed warnings that take up 50% of the packaging? First of all, they would need to quadruple the size of the packaging just to fit all the potential side-effects. But no one is proposing that because people that use these substances to make their day a little better aren’t being treated like the dregs of society like cigarette smokers. And don’t tell me those drugs aren’t addictive either.
Pipe smokers (and cigar smokers) should be concerned about anti-smoking efforts, even when they appear to be only against cigarettes.
These efforts are really against all forms of tobacco and smoking.
They infringe on consumer’s rights to make their own choices, they restrict trade and free speech on the industry side, threaten jobs and economies, and the list goes on and on about how this is just plain wrong.
They are coming for your favorite tobacco next, and after all tobacco is wiped out, a new favorite indulgence will be the next target.
If you are a pipe or cigar smoker and you aren’t concerned about what is happening with anti-tobacco and anti-smoking efforts that seem to be only against cigarettes, then don’t come crying to me when they come after your tobacco of choice … and they are already on the way.
Divided We Fall: The Self Segregation of Smokers
Don’t Tread on Pipe Tobacco or Anything Else
Great article Kevin.
We have to stand together and fight these preposterous laws and stand by and up for people to be able to make their own choices. Even people who don’t smoke really need to start paying attention and stop this type of stuff from happening. Pretty soon the anti’s WILL be going after other things.
They are already trying to ban salt in New York and ban Happy Meals in California. This stuff about the government and the anti’s trying to legislate personal behavior is way out of control. And I’m not just talking about the U.S.A., it is happening all over the world. Everyone in every country needs to start standing up against this nonsense.
It’s not about smoking or about health, it’s about destroying the tobacco market and controlling users. All tobacco is marked for the war and they’ve included electronic cigarettes, snus and other smokeless products as well.
In North America elderly smokers are being evicted from their homes, that is the latest trend in the ‘war on big tobacco’. Nicotine is being demonised as a hazard to children.
The FCTC intends to capture the whole non medical nicotine market and hand it to tobacco control. Anyone who has been following the lies and antics of those nutters will know that they have no moral code and will stop at nothing to achieve control. The only thing they haven’t been able to control is the black market.
If salt, Happy Meals™, and tobacco are outlawed, then I’ll need the Lexapro, Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac, or Cymbalta.
Stock up while you can! Keep buying those tins even though you may not need them at the moment. Keep stockpiling! Stored properly, tobacco can last for years and years.
Similarly, my dad and I started stockpiling ammunition. Every payday we go and get shells for our guns. We have hundreds of boxes. The anti-gun people, I think, will try and ban ammunition first. Without ammo a gun is no better then a baseball bat.
Then they will come after our baseball bats!
Bannings and extreme laws and regulations have never solved anything.
The solution is to allow each individual to decide for him or herself, treating citizens as persons and not as children or robots.
Regulate public spaces to guarantee that there are both smoking and smoke free environments. So if I were to go to a restaurant, to say something, I could choose. That would be my choice, I don’t need someone else to make the decision for me.
Also, force tobacco companies to list every ingredient and additive in the box; knowing what are the exact ingredients and chemicals in what we smoke would be much better than putting a big stupid warning saying “Smoking kills” or “Tobacco can create addiction”. I’m well aware of the risks, let me know what’s really inside the box or the tin and I’ll decide for myself, thank you.
And the list could go on and on. The key is to give the individual freedom of choice, not to force people along a certain path, that’s more suited to a dictatorship than a democracy.
I’m a smoker, but I dont’ like to eat in places where there’s cigarrette smoke, however I do undestand that some people likes to smoke while eating; so I would never ask to ban smoking everywhere, just make possible to create areas that can satisfy both groups.
Also tobacco and tobacco smoking has a unique cultural and historical value that could be lost if this stupid crusade continues, not to mention the jobs that would be lost and the impact in a sector of the agriculture. Too bad that many people and leaders these days are too short-sighted to realize basic things.
Amen! It’s hard for us to defend cigarettes, but they are, in the final tally, TOBACCO, after all.
An attack on one form of tobacco use should be considered an attack on ALL.
If a body likes cigs then let them enjoy thier cigs in peace. They might have to step outsice and be 25 feet away from the door the same as pipe and cigar smokers. Fine. The second hand smoke is disapearring into the open atmosphere and will harm no one around them. Leave us alone then! Funny. These same anti-tobacco freaks don’t mind smelling or inhaling smoke from a campfire or fireplace while they breathe.
With respect to second hand smoke, my pet peeve is the prohibition of smoking in outdoor stadiums. On Monday Night Football, 22 Nov 2010, the pre-game fireworks display created a fog of residual smoke so thick you could hardly see the players on the field.
The producers obviously avoided using the sky-cam for most of the 1st quarter for that very reason. I doubt that tobacco smoke is as harmful as spent ammonium perchlorate; and people there are exposed to a far greater concentration of the latter. So let’s stop the hypocrisy.
As an example Fox Hunting with Horses was banned in the UK. The problem with that issue was that the the reasons used to continue was widely said to be ‘to control pests’. From that point onwards, Fox Hunting was a doomed Sport within the UK and as a consequence became banned.
Had the Hunters been a little more savvy and given as their reason ‘because we enjoy it, it is our pastime’ then the whole question of a ban on the sport would have been a lot different.
Bob is quite right when he says ‘I’m not just talking about the U.S.A’. We have far more draconian measures in Europe than you guys already have in the USA. Not only that but Europe leads the way in the fight against tobacco. Any future bans are likely to happen here first and the fact is that it only takes one country and the rest will fall into line just like the domino effect.
It is a sad fact that any anti’s will not stop at the initial target they are pursuing. Once they have achieved that initial target, they will move on to the next. We are already seeing that in the UK where the Anti Hunt brigade have now turned their sights on fishing, the largest participation sport in the world. What makes you think the anti-smoking lobby are going to stop mearly at cigarettes. They will not be happy until the have outlawed the dreaded weed in its entirity. One can only wonder at what they will go after if they achieve their goal?
In an effort to curb overeating and obeisity in the UK, ideas have been put forward such as refusing to treat people that are overweight or obese. These ideas are somewhat reminiscent of a certain Austrian Corporal, where by he went about cleansing Europe of those people that did not conform to his ideas of the ‘perfect race’ i.e. the insane, and those of certain religeous and political beliefs. You will also note that this Austrian Corporal was also a fervent anti-smoker, as were the majority of his closest supporters.
Kevin makes a good point when he says that the anti-smokers will, and do not, distiguish between cigarettes or cigars and pipes. To them it is TOBACCO, no matter how it is wrapped up. However, I doubt the anti-smokers have quite realised what will occur if they achieve their goal, they have not read their history or if they have, thay have learnt nothing from it. The ‘Noble Experiment’ of 1919 – 1933 is a classic example of what will happen. It seems that people have forgotten what the effects were of that debacle, although to be honest I think there are far more politicians in the US that fear a similar situation should that Noble Experiment be reanimated to curb the use of tobacco as opposed to alcohol.
One should not forget that smoking is a personal choice, and as a choice it is therefore a freedom. In the Western world we sometimes forget that those freedoms need to be fought for every now and again. Once won, we cannot sit back and expect them to continue as they are without someone trying to take them away. A stand must be taken against those that would take that freedom away, just as if you were trying to win that freedom in the first place.
Future headline: TOBACCO OPPONENTS HOISTED WITH OWN PETARD
Bringing the argument to the philosophical level is probably not the best approach. Theoreticals are rarely digested as easily as emotional appeals. But I have to make the effort because tobacco opponents, or those who are at most indifferent to it, may not realize exactly what is at stake.
The greater issue is freedom and whether anyone has the right to tell others what to do — at the personal level. What I see developing in our society is a tyranny of the majority. Tobacco opponents may revel in their successes now; but in life
after tobacco, the anti’s may be surprised and dismayed to discover that the precedents they established may be used against them by some majority interest with different lifestyle persuasions.
Improbable? As an example that I’ve used elsewhere, suppose an anti-tobacco advocate was raised as a meat eater, and enjoys it. Now, during his lifetime vegan-vegetarians become the majority of the population. In an era of sweeping political
correctness they summon an abundance of evidence, better than anything ever leveled against tobacco, to argue that slaughtering animals and eating their flesh constitutes unconscionable cruelty; it is unquestionably less healthy than the vegan diet; and even that meat eaters have an objectionable body odor. No doubt vegans have many more talking points, and more cogent ones, than I’m even aware of.
So, on the strength of their hypothetical majority vote, they impose punitive taxes on meat; they legislate disincentives for meat producers; they prohibit transporting meat into various of their states; they ban public consumption of meat; and do whatever else they can, BECAUSE they can, to cast meat eaters as pariahs, and vilify anyone associated with the meat industry. How will those anti-tobacco advocates react as they slip down the slope they’ve helped to create?
Yes, some people consider tobacco use a high risk / low reward activity, like surfing in the ocean with sharks, or hot air ballooning. But no one has the right to make personal lifestyle choices for others, or to use their political strength to coerce others into conformity with their personal beliefs. If tobacco opponents can’t see that, then they have more to worry about than second hand smoke. As “excav8tor” (above) alludes, soon we’ll all be saying, “Sieg Heil!”