When religion used to be more important than health in the West, the end of all prayers used to be “Amen”. Now that the veneration of health has become the religion, all the prayers must end with “smoking kills”.

And if you want to be very religious, recite also the number of scientifically indemonstrable “tobacco-related” deaths for your country, or better yet for the world (bigger numbers, more scary). The Gods of Medicine, Public Health and Pharmacia will look favourably upon you – and feed you more advertisement funding, or taxpayers’ money.

Push red button, get banana.

Conversely, saying that smoking does not kill is blasphemy. But it just happens that the oldest people in the world – those who have broken all records of longevity – are all smokers, past or current, and often heavy smokers to boot. Therefore, how to report the news that the umpteenth smoker has passed the 100 years benchmark without upsetting Zeus in the health ministry headquarters on mount Olympus, or any of his henchmen?

Try this: “An iron-lunged pensioner has celebrated her 100th birthday by lighting up her 170,000th cigarette from a candle on her birthday cake.”

Here we go: the words we have bolded are the key, and they tell you that “Only those who are lucky enough to be EXCEPTIONALLY constructed manage not to get sick from smoking, as smoking harms health by definition. Thus, are you >SURE< that you are the exception?… Do you want to take the >RISK<?… As you cannot be sure, you WILL get sick from smoking — so don’t smoke, for this woman is the exception to the rule (that smoking kills)”.

There you go, belief is served: now the news can be reported without upsetting God too much – although it would have been better to ignore the news altogether, thus helping the cultural engineers. But we have an independent press after all!

However, one can never be sure that all readers get the implicit message so a pious lecture must accompany all stories such as this. This one is an excellent example of the pretzel logic anti-tobacco instills upon our independent press.

“Despite the numerous health warnings” (implication: the warnings are there because they are true) , “Mrs Langley insists she’s never suffered because of the habit as she ‘has never inhaled’ “.

Not just the words, but the coherence too remind us of Bill Clinton, for whom a blow job was not sex. If she never inhaled, what does she need “iron lungs” for?…

There is only one logical conclusion, therefore: smoking kills. After the age of 100. Happy smoking.



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