Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews Between the Lines

Smoking: out for the count

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 24 November 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b5023
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    The first campaigner against passive smoking was probably the greatest novelist the world has ever known, Leo Tolstoy. In his essay “Why do Men Stupefy Themselves?”—published in 1890 as an introduction to a book by his medical brother in law, Dr S P Alexeyev, with the title Drunkenness (he was against it)—Tolstoy wrote: “Everyone of average education considers it inadmissible, ill bred, and inhumane to infringe the peace, comfort, and yet more the health of others for his own pleasure. But out of a thousand smokers not one will shrink from producing unwholesome smoke in a room where the air is breathed by non-smoking women and children.”

    Bravo for Tolstoy, …

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