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About 10 years ago I went looking for the purpose of smoking. The first call was on the people who oppose it the most. I thought they would know since they oppose it. All they knew was it was bad bad bad. After a while of trawling through old books I found references to herbal remedies and comments from Spanish explorers in The New World. Turns out it's a temporary treatment for psychological disorders like anxiety and panic, or as the Spainish were told by the Indians "to relieve the symptoms of drowning". This was a cultural idiom since those particular indians were a long way from water to have a serious drowning problem, and since once you're drowned, you're dead.

So it comes as little surpise that cigarettes were in such high demand during the world wars. War diaries often make reference to the fact that after particularly nasty offensives, cigarettes were in high demand and if officially available, were rationed out more generously than usual.

This historical information is not related to children, and I believe it is suppressed via omission. Once you know the purpose of an item, there is no fear. Once the fear is gone, their is no leverage for manipulators.


Is smoking an “addiction” or enjoyment for some individuals?


Any combination of the two, D4J. Indulging the desires of a personality with addictive tendency can be pleasurable, but if the substance is also physiologically addictive the enjoyment will eventually become part of the addicition.


Gambling is worse than smoking, but it is highly taxable and profitable, so Labour doesn't give a crap about the destroyed families and shipwrecked lives. Smoking is also associated with independence & subversive thought, something which our benevolent State has been trying to stamp out.

Acid Comments

"Cigarettes really hit their stride during world war 2, a time a great stress and discomfort for many. They almost certainly served a useful purpose at that time"

Yeah and you can blame some of that on the doctors and the movie era of the 1940s and 1950s.

Doctors of that period often use to advise their patients to take up smoking to 'carm your nerves and relax'. They also use to make their nurses smoke. While all the Glam movie stars spent just about every other scene with a cigarette in hand or smoking one!



I hope my comments and questions assist in clarifying the nicotine addiction issue:

"Somewhere I have seen research that suggests that about 25% of all cigarettes consumed are smoked by those who are mentally unwell to some degree or another."

Smoking itself has been variously described by the medical profession as an illness or a form of self-medication.

If a person is addicted to nicotine therefore, I think you could say there is a mental illness present - especially since half of all smokers die of smoking-related diseases.

"Perhaps ardent anti-smokers will say you have to be mentally unwell to smoke in the first place. Perhaps."

It is more complex that that. Smoking is a trap - does not take much to get hooked. It becomes a cause of mental illness as well as a perceived solution.

"Cigarettes really hit their stride during world war 2, a time a great stress and discomfort for many. They almost certainly served a useful purpose at that time."

They almost certainly did not serve a useful purpose. What alternatives to smoking were investigated?

"If we really want to eliminate the tobacco habit from our society, and I think we should, then we need to look into why those who smoke continue to do so."

Addiction. Using an imagined cure to multiply their problems.

"Addictions of many kinds are a problem to our society, tobacco far less so than many of the others and understanding addictions is the key - not new laws, rules and regulations."

What other addiction causes even a fraction of thee avoidable premature deaths that smoking does?

"But of course it is far harder to get a true understanding of addictions than it is to promulgate a new regulation - and for those on a power trip less satisfying."

The accumulation of legislation has led to a much more smokefree community with smokefree workplaces. How much of the legislation has been initiated by the National Party. In fact they have promised to repeal legislation (like Clark in 1989) but it has never happened.

For those with a history of cancer deaths in the family, especially driven by smoking, this is a very serious health issue.


If we go to War will soldiers be allowed to smoke ciggys?


No Daddy 4

The Armed Forces should be smoke free. These guys are required to be very fit - just like professional sportsmen are.

Having said that, if you have 2 applicants of about the same potential - one smoking, one not - the non-smoker has an immediate advantage these days because of prospect of greater productivity and less sick days.

Non-smokers also have huge advantages when looking for a flat. Also cheaper insurance policies.

Tobacco products waste our foreign exchange.

Danger Mouse

"If we really want to eliminate the tobacco habit from our society, and I think we should, then we need to look into why those who smoke continue to do so."

It wouldn't surprise me if ciggy cases become a prized trophy. But surely no one can claim to be ignorant of the health risks these days? I've seen high school students in uniform light up in town after school. Maybe they want to be part of the "in" crowd. I'd be more concerned about the migration to hard-core substances, and whatever case is used to store those.

Comment released after 24 hour ping expired


Peter I am in a Canterbury Hospital Respiratory Services case study.Thank you. I will comment about the matter - once the study finishes and certainly not listen to your nonsense.

The tax that is gained from tobacco sales allows the government to pay you to write woffle all day.


Or, as i once saw written on the wall of an Irish pub -

Most of the price of Guiness is tax.

Most of the tax is spent on the dole.

Most of the dole is spent on Guiness.


Daddy 4

I always thought you would make an ideal live Case Study.

But what is the story for you this time? Are you a researcher or a researchee?

Being such an intelligent person, are they using you as a control in the research; i.e. are they comparing the harm done to smokers with the good health of non-smokers like you?


Peter are you the case study or me? Confused Peter. Kind regards Peter.

Sam Finnemore

In which a rare non-ad hominem from Peter meets an entirely typical ad hominem from d4j. This must be TBR.

Anyway, have fun, folks, I'm going out for the night. I may or may not smoke. Nicotine is a hell of a drug.


Sam and Daddy 4

If you really are addicted to smoking..

Simply do more blogging. Twin addictions for some I am sure.

Psycho Milt

The Armed Forces should be smoke free.

Well, if I was to volunteer to take a bullet for you Peter, f*cked if you'd also get to tell me whether I could smoke or not. Just saying.

For the wealthy smoker an elegantly engraved sterling silver model will be de rigeur.

The more modest will make do with cases of traditional design made from stainless steel.

Oh, if only it were so. However, my experience in hanging out with Aussies a couple of weeks back is that in fact smokers will just use the ugly new packets and compare with each other to see who has the ugliest one. After all, we're not living in a particularly sophisticated corner of the planet here.


As expected, extreme right wing Christian fundamentalists (overwhelmingly non smokers!) back big Tobacco mulitnationals to grow revenues by tricking the gullible into addiction.

As with promotion of Christianity, they probably support tobacco as a legitimate tool of colonisation. Make the natives dependent!

Other people generally interested in progressive change to achieve better health for our nation and for the world.

Another reason to keep youth away from fundamentalism and to keep away yourself.

Why should a smoker expect to join the army?


Fundamental Christians can smoke Peter and join the army. *****************************************
ad hominem removed. Unnecessary and adds nothing to the comment itself.

Oswald Bastable

I enjoy about two cigars/pipes a year.

To me,taking tobacco is a bit of a ritual- a special occasion.

Does it need banning because some users are weak-willed?

Not as far as I am concerned!


Oh Oswald I really think you could give up a habit of two cigars a year!

Weak will does not come into it unfortunately Oswald. You clearly fail to understand the nature of this scourge on our nation's health.

Full marks to the Labour-led government for keeping the Tobacco companies on the ropes.

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