Russell MAH.  Realistic goals for smoking and health: a case for safer smoking.  Lancet 1: 254-258.

“It is suggested that this high dependence-producing potency and the universal appeal of the effects of nicotine lie behind the past failures of smoking-control programmes.  In this context, the goal of abstinence and the abolition of all smoking is unrealistic and doomed to fail.” (p. 254)

“Thus most people smoke not because they wish to, but because they cannot easily stop.” (p. 255)

“There is little doubt that if it were not for the nicotine in tobacco smoke people would be little more inclined to smoke than they are to blow bubbles or light sparklers.” (p. 255)

“Over the past fifteen years there has been virtually no progress in this direction [abstinence and the abolition of smoking], and unless the direction is changed there is unlikely to be much more progress in the future.  Rather than consideration of alternative and more realistic goals, the response to past failures has been to call for more money and harsher restrictive measures.  But even if the Gobvernment could be persuaded to ban all promotion and advertising of tobacco products and to provide the funds for a massive intensification of anti-smoking propaganda, it is doubtful whether much would be achieved by what amounts to flogging a dead horse harder.”

“To attempt to control smoking by abolishing it may be as unrealistic as it would be to try to control alcoholism by prohibiting all alcohol drinking.” (p. 256)

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