Customer Review

28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Important Book, November 20, 2002
This review is from: For Your Own Good: The Anti-Smoking Crusade and the Tyranny of Public Health (Hardcover)
The author of this book doesn't smoke but I do and I thank him. I have lived in both Great Britain and the USA, and am finding anti-smoking activism an increasing bore in both areas, although much more so in 'the land of the free.' Sullum points out that much anti-smoking policy is based on 'second-hand-smoke' fears and that these fears are demonstrably hysterical. The fear of getting lung cancer from sharing a bar with smokers is like fearing cirrhosis from smelling a drunkard's breath. But now US policy makers wish to ban smoking everywhere, private clubs, outdoors...they'll be imprisoning people for enjoying a cigarette soon if they have their way. As if individuals and people like restaurant owners couldn't decide without the government's boot on their necks where they wish to allow smoking and where they don't. I've smoked for four decades, and can't think when anyone's smoking ever bothered me, or when I was ever asked to put out my cigarette, until the last few years, once the alarmists started holding sway. Britain did not always treat well those subject to its empirical power. America had its witch trials, its commie hunts, its slavery. Germany's citizens went along with the vilification, degradation, and attempted murder of all its Jews. It's human nature, apparently, for societies to vilify and harass, such persons and practices as they choose, when they choose, without good reason: as reasons are lacking, societies simply make them up, and most docile citizens just go along with the hate-streams provided. Sullum points out that tobacco, and cigarettes particularly, have been banned before, for reasons that proved hysterical or alarmist, and that tolerance of smoking returns in time. Smoking is an exquisite pleasure. Enjoyment of it should be moderated, or even avoided by individuals, as they choose. Such moderate views are rarely heard in these days of anti-smoking Taliban. Sullum is fair-minded and objective. He's written a wonderful book, of import to smokers, and to all who despise ignorance, intolerance, alarmism, hysteria, and the hate-filled members of our societies, who are now using these age-old weapons, to humiliate and ostracize tobacco users. Read this book. Smoke pridefully, and resist the temptation to blow your smoke, in the face of the Taliban types. Unlike them, most smokers are civilized, and this is the source of our pride.
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