Velvet Glove Iron Fist


Subtitled A History of Anti-smoking, Christopher Snowden‘s book Velvet Glove Iron Fist is perhaps the best ever written on this subject, at least the best I have read. Entertaining as well as informative, this book should be in every library. (See the Velvetglove website for excerpts).

Though harm reductionists and anti-tobacco activists share the goal of getting smokers away from smoking, we differ radically on how we conceptualize the process. Anti-smoking activists are paternalistic and feel that smokers will only respond to force as in increasingly onerous restrictions and various other steps in the direction of prohibition.

Harm reduction is based on the idea of choice and autonomy. Smokers smoke for good reason (even if it is unhealthy) and only by accepting those reasons as valid can we develop attractive alternatives to smoking. Secondly, and quite a different point, is that the anti-smoking movement has created the very barriers that stop smokers from knowing about safer alternatives.

Know the enemy; read this book.


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  • smokeless cigarette  On February 14, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    Great Blog! I have been following it for quite some I can subscribe to your blog?

  • Paul  On February 14, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    Thanks for the interest!

    The easiest way I can think of is through a reader…myself, I subscribe to blogs through Google Reader but I am sure there a million others out there. Unfortunately, this no frills template does not include one of those sharing buttons on it.

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