Fancying a Fag

Sean Gabb

Someone offered me a cigarette this afternoon. Though I refused it, I was strongly tempted to accept, and have been regretting the refusal ever since.

I last had a cigarette four years ago. Some of my best friends are smokers, and I do everything possible to make them welcome when they visit and want to smoke. I don’t judge them. I don’t hector them. I just don’t currently smoke. I stopped smoking for these reasons:

1. Cigarettes are grossly expensive, and most of the price goes in tax to a bunch of worthless politicians who get enough of my money already.

2. Smoking at home makes everything smelly. Smoking away from home is increasingly inconvenient.

3. I suspect there is something in the claims that smoking is bad for one’s health. I accept that virtually every positive claim put out by the anti-smokers is a lie. No causal connection has ever been demonstrated between smoking and heart disease or cancer. The evidence for passive smoking is a joke. Some years ago, my late friend Judith Hatton – dead at 89 after smoking 80 a day from about the age of 15 – compared the number of cigarettes smoked per country with life expectancy: she found no obvious correlation. All this being said, I doubt that breathing in the smoke from dried vegetable matter is very good for you in the long term. And I do have more than a slight tendency of hypochondria. I got sick of diagnosing the symptoms of every cancer under the sun every time I lit up.

On the other hand, I usually write faster with a cigarette between my lips, and they are a powerful weapon in my lifelong battle against a congenital inclination to stoutness.

I may start again one day. For the moment, I am glad I refused the cigarette I was offered earlier today, and will repress the urge to run out and blow £9 on a packet of Bensons.

6 thoughts on “Fancying a Fag

  1. With regards to smoking, part of me is a kind of Austrian School-Puritan: I’ve seen too many anti-smoking ads and I think it is a symptom of a low time-preference to wilfully damage your body for pleasure. On the other hand, you are going to die someday, Sean, so you might as well have some hand in it. And if it keeps you slimmer in the process, then that’s better than a slap in the lalas with an antique mangle.


    I do not add the very very normal and well-understood British liberal prefix “Gramsco-” to the word up there, “-FabiaNazi”: why? For Antonio Gramsci had not been invented when the Nazis and the Fabians had got going on 6th January 1884. I don’t think his parents had even at that point “known” each other: it’s a shame that they did, really, and if that sad copulational event could have been avoided and I was one of them, then er well I would have avoided it. But there you go.

    Legiron, who you probably know (he likes us) is busy spreading the seeds of “Nicotiana sp.” all over Scotland and Wales, insofar as he can do so, not being a motorist. He hopes that in time, when it finally becomes illegal to own, grow, photograph, share pictures of, see, go near, touch or even think about, the plants of this Nicotiana Genus, from which raw tobacco leaves can be harvested and cured properly, it will be entirely possible for ordinary people to go out into the (still-permitted-wild areas outside the Condominia of the Righteous) wilds, and gather their own tobacco leaves, in the dead of night, outside the machine-gunned-searchlight-areas. Along with rabbits, and whatever other warm-blooded large vertebrates they can get away with “stealing from ENGLISH NATURE”…so they can get to actually eat some protein, sometimes, now and then…….

    By then, the owning – let alone the management of – “herds” of large herbivorous ruminants, will not be permitted. This would be “inefficient use of primary producer resources” ( = plants) and would be a capital offence, putting you on “The Naughty List”. There will be such herds, but they will be inside the armed and wired condominium areas, just like “Les Demsenes Manoires” in the High Middle Ages about 900 years ago.

    That’s where you are all going unless you fight up.

  3. The first country in the world to manufacture smoking = lung-cncer data was Hitler’s Third Reich. The Richard Doll Mob simply borrowed a lot of their stats.

    Bear in mind that in the early 1930s nothing was known about tobacco or what was in it, or about cancer (which was thought of as a unitary disease) (of any kind) or lungs (of any kind.)

    It’s probable, in fact, that heavy smoking could get you lung cancer. But so can the long-term-inhalation of diesel fuel combustion products, like soot and tar. Just watch, just watch, a public-sector-teatsuckiong-bus, as it moves off from rest, when you are behind it in your car. But nobody is going to admit that, are they, specially not the BlairBrownTerror, which taxationally-promoted Diesel-vehicles, as opposed to much safer Petrol, for years and years and years..

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