The reason for the current anti-smoking hysteria is simple. First, there was a strong smoking lobby that inundated every public space with the cigarette advertisement. The shameless tobacco companies even went so far as to market cigarettes as slimming. Then, a new, much stronger lobby arose: the pharmaceutical lobby. It needed to peddle all kinds of anti-smoking remedies, pills, patches, gum, prescription medication, etc. In order to sell its junk, pharmaceutical companies needed to vilify smoking. Which it did very successfully. Whether the smoking is bad for you, good for you, indifferent for you is completely beyond the point. If the pharmaceutical companies could make a bundle by condemning tea drinking as an evil pursuit you need to be cured from, so they would.
People mistakenly believe that anti-smoking laws represent the authorities' promotion of healthy lifestyles. This is a ridiculous belief. If anybody cared about the health of the citizens, handing out pills at coffee-shops, prescribing anti-psychotic medication to small children, pumping tiny kids full of drugs to make them more manageable, promises to cure shyness with medication would be outlawed. Come to think of it, so would be the fast food joints. Cardiovascular diseases are still the main cause of death in the US, if I'm not mistaken, and the contribution of MacDonald's and Co to that is huge.
I have no doubt that people who have been infected with the anti-smoking hysteria will get all self-righteous on me and condemn this post from promoting smoking. That, of course, will be the best testimony one could ask for to the success of the brainwashing engaged in by the pharmaceutical companies.
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