T.S. photo by Ottoline Morrell, 1934. Source: Wikimedia commons, public domain "A custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs,” and with its "stinking fumes," it resembles the bottomless pit of the underworld's River Styx. So wrote King James 1st of England ( aka King James VI of Scotland and after whom the King James version of the Bible was named) in his 1604 treatise A Counterblast to Tobacco . Ironically, though, King James noted that Source: Stock [email protected] , used with permission, iStock.com the "unsavory" and "filthy custom" of smoking "refreshes a weary man," but also "makes a man hungry." Many people, though, (and particularly women) have used smoking to control their appetite and report that one major reason to continue smoking, despite serious medical morbidity and mortality, is the fear of gaining considerable weight when they stop. My title phrase "burnt-out ends of smoky days" comes from T.S. Eliot's poem Preludes , written just about 100 years ago. Though Eliot, according to some critics, evokes the gritty alienation of urban life, he furnishes us with a poetic image for smoking cessation. Despite dire warnings by the Surgeon General, over 18%… Read full this story
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