This is how the antismokers think of us. To them, we are all agents of the tobacco industry and we are determined to force everyone to smoke. We are the Marlborg. Resistance is futile. You will be fumigated. Smokefree is irrelevant.
Why do they think that? The truth is that we smokers are not interested in recruiting anyone because there is nothing to recruit anyone into. We are not interested in persuading anyone to smoke. Why would we? There is nothing in it for us. We gain nothing if someone else starts smoking, we lose nothing if they don't, we don't even lose anything if a current smoker decides they don't want to do it any more and stops. It is an individual choice and one in which your choices don't affect mine, and vice versa. If you plan to shout 'Second hand smoke' or 'It's all nasty and smelly' at this point, you should know that you have wandered deep into enemy territory and might want to consider shutting the hell up.
We didn't complain if a pub went smokefree before the ban. We just went to a different pub. It was no problem at all. We certainly didn't demand that the smokefree pub allow smoking so we could go there as well as the smoky pub. Antismokers will argue that that is exactly what smokers demand. Well, yes, we demand it now but that's because there is no longer an alternative pub for us. Not one. We can no longer exercise choice, and neither can the landlords of those pubs. The ones that are left.
The truth is, the antismokers think the smoker mindset involves forcing others to live as they do because that is the only mindset they can conceive of. The idea that people with different lifestyles can coexist, that there could be smoking and nonsmoking pubs, is impossible in their minds. Everyone must be the same. Everyone is the same, to them, and deviance from sameness is evil.
I wonder what they think happens when someone opens their first pack of cigarettes? America's General Sawbones has already stated they will die with one puff. (Don't anyone get all Julian Clary over that one, now) Soon they will die when they open the pack and inhale the aroma. Eventually we will be told that picking through the plastic and opening the pack will make this guy turn up with his gang of Nicobites:
Well, it's no more ludicrous than most of the claims and actually less ludicrous than some. The antismokers could use that picture as a warning (smoking will make nails grow out of your head, and I wish I had the time and skill to replace every nail with a cigarette) but that's more in the style of the Church of Climatology. 'Do as we say or we'll come after you with a nailgun' is their speciality.
The smokophobes prefer to sneer and to try to be superior. They think we actually believe they had spotted Junican's trap before they fell into it. They think we actually believe they saw his message that spelled 'propaganda' before they trolled the blogs to find out who he was. The smugness oozed from them as they published his full name, knowing full well it was an invitation to the more radical of their lunatic fringe - and that's the lunatic fringe of a lunatic fringe, remember - to get their spite glands fully loaded and Righteously act like utter twats. The smokophobes are evil and stupid.
Therefore I invite them all (yes you too, BMJ) to take and use the following images as warnings on the cigarette packets. Go on. There's no charge. The tobacco industry pays me nothing and neither will you.
WARNING: Smoking is an addiction that always escalates to the direct application of nicotine to the eye.
WARNING: Smoking can make you look almost as bad as a fake doctor with an obsession for looking at poo.
WARNING: This man smoked, and just look what happened to him.
How many smokophobes looked at those and thought 'Ooo, that's a good idea' at one or two, I wonder? Quite a few, because even though I have tried to reach into the abyss of absurdity I cannot reach as far as them. The Lefties will pounce on that last one as a brilliant idea, even though it's just going to make the less-bright think 'Really? If I smoke I can be Prime Monster?' They don't understand humour. They think they are good at sarcasm but there is a world of difference between sarcastic and snide. Really, we are not fighting the cream of the IQ bottle here. We know it, they don't.
Junican flew through their defences with unnoticed jibes and with a suggestion designed to be utterly impractical but just draconian enough to be credible. The BMJ responded with 'a few tobacco promoters tipped the balance' when Junican's suggestion reached 70% of the vote thanks to his friends and acquaintances, while the next score was 9% because these people have no friends. Now they have to award the prize, and I hope it's printed on rolling paper.
I think we should all follow Junican's example. Invent a new persona and give them ideas. The more insane and deranged the better. Junican has shown that they will accept any and all crazed notions without question as long as they think it makes smokers suffer, even if it only makes smokers laugh.
It is cruel to torment them, but it's just too much fun to resist.