Views & Reviews Between the Lines

Tobacco meets its match

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 29 May 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1253
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    One day a comprehensive history of opposition to tobacco will be written. In it, James I’s famous Counterblaste will be given an honourable mention, with its denunciation of tobacco and “the black stinking fumes thereof, nearest resembling the horrible Stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless.”

    Less prominent in the history, no doubt, will be Thomas Reynolds’ Anti-Tobaccoism: Three Hundred and Sixty-Five interviews with Smokers, Chewers and Snufftakers in a Series of Letters to John Lee, One of the Vice-Presidents of the British Anti-Tobacco Society, published some time in the 1850s, with “prefatory remarks” by Thomas Hodgkin, of Hodgkin’s disease, who opined that reading these letters would be more profitable to most persons than …

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