The anti-smoking movement is large, well-funded, politically connected, effectively coordinated, and – most disturbing to me – ruthless in that they are willing to bend or twist the truth to achieve their aim: to end the use of tobacco in all forms in the United States, if not the world.
These people are not evil. They are your family. Your friends. Your teachers, students, colleagues, neighbors, employees, employers, doctors, accountants, and team mates. You go out with them, play cards with them, celebrate holidays together, work on charity drives with them, and sit next to them at church. In short, they are everywhere. And they see themselves cloaked in compassion, virtue, duty, and responsibility. They love us. They want to save us from ourselves, and they will not be dissuaded from their drive to do so.
Herein lies the problem. Self-righteousness and love can – and often do – combine to taint the actions of otherwise good people.
People who believe profoundly in their cause – like the anti-smoking movement does – will go to any lengths to achieve their aims. Because they believe smoking kills, they see it as evil. When it comes to stamping out evil, the end justifies the means.
I'm not so sure I ascribe as many nice attributes to the anti-smoking movement.