Tank, an English publisher, has issued a few classics in these intriguing packages. In what seems like a rather foolish move, British American Tobacco has sued them on the basis that their product might negatively affect their brand. Though their lawyers indicate that they will pursue any unauthorized use of their brand, you’d think that they would see this as one worth ignoring. You’d think they jump at the possibility of being associated with the classics. You can get the full story here.
As far as I know the books are still on the market, and let’s hope that the crossover is addictiveness.
In other news, recently a tobacco control smokesman in Quebec took a stand against vanilla flavoured cigarettes. Because they smell better. And that will mislead people as to the health risks. This is insane. After all the complaining about cigarette smells, here is a product that is most beneficial to nonsmokers (because flavoured tobaccos always smell better to others than the smoker) and anti-smoking groups want to ban it.
I can’t say I never smoke and I certainly have in the past and but it has been a while and it never was all that regular. When I did I felt no solidarity with smokers and didn’t like smoky bars any better than most. I was in support of smoke free zones, eliminating tobacco advertising, taxing the hell out of it. But now the sheer aggressiveness of the anti-smoking groups have almost made me want to form a smoking resistance movement.
We all know smoking is about the worst thing you can do for your health. But we also know that apart from a few fires and a very small number of second hand smoke related death (an extremely overrated danger by the way) the effects of smoking are felt by the smoker.
One of my brothers, an ex-smoker, used to complain that as a non-driver he was a much better and cleaner citizen that those whose exhaust he had to breathe on his many long walks. I used to think he was just being defensive but I finally got it. The automobile culture is destructive to all forms of life on this planet, and yet do we vilify the driver? Not unless they are smoking it seems.
I used to hate the omnipresent smell of cigarette smoke but now I enjoy it purely because it is uncommon. Marlboros used to remind me of trips to the States, other cigarette smells of times at the public beach, and how I miss smelling pipes which oddly enough in the age of boutiquism have gone the way of the dinosaur.
To smell pipe tobacco in the autumn air was wonderful. I remember going a couple of blocks out of my way just to keep smelling it.
Its just that I get so annoyed about all this unwarranted moral rectitude when it comes to smoking. Make them go outside, then far away from the door, now lets look at them, point our fingers, and mutter. Maybe now that the anti-smoking crusaders have won this battle they could go after billboards, or idling vehicles, or people who talk loudly on cell phones. But it seems in their efforts to eradicate all traces of this pernicious habit, they are going after the historical record itself and removing the cigarettes from poster images of Sartre in France and smoking from cartoons. Hasn’t anyone told them about the rule about why history might repeat itself? Better run for it Selma!
We forget that apart from the fact that some people function much better with nicotine there are other positive roles smoking plays. It is socially cohesive. Smokers cross class boundaries. The little work group huddling together around their smokes in the wind come from all parts of the company, people who normally might not meet each other. Cigarettes also are bridges. Its easier to meet someone with a request for a match or a cigarette. And, what the hell, what’s so wrong with people just liking to smoke.
The point is that with it has been very easy to shuffle these people around with everyone including almost all smokers acquiescing and it does really come down to an issue of rights. If you can do that to smokers, why not Scotch drinkers? Why not fast food eaters? Why not any little habit you might enjoy that someone else doesn’t?
To end with something a little more amusing, in Britain, an artist and a composer, in reaction to a smoking ban, collaborated in a musical work in which all the performers will be smoking. I wonder if they will have to perform it over ten metres from any doorway?