A birthday celebration turned extremely ugly as a husband severed his wife’s tongue and windpipe after an argument over her smoking. She will recover but doctors do not now know whether the reattachment of her tongue will prove successful. The husband is in jail, charged with attempted murder. Both are licensed as respiratory care practitioners and employed at a St. Paul Minnesota hospital, a profession and location that is rife with anti-smoking propaganda.

Without excusing the husband’s despicable act it is crucial that anti-tobacco not be left off the hook. For decades anti-tobacco, financed by pharmaceutical interests, has conducted a campaign of hate against smokers. One cannot watch television, listen to radio or read a newspaper without ingesting the notion that smokers are disgusting and that they are killing nonsmokers. The message also states that all available means must be brought to eliminate smoking. The enraged husband wielding a knife against his smoking wife is still an aberration but each year his ilk becomes more prevalent. He should base his defense on mental duress caused by the constant messages of hate he receives from anti-tobacco and his wife should sue the purveyors of hate who justify her husband’s violent, ant-smoker act.

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