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I am of course notoriously hooked on cigarettes. I keep hoping the things will kill me. A fire at one end and a fool at the other. ~ Kurt Vonnegut
Generally, the control freaks only increase control. Take cigarettes. At first it was just warning labels. Then, bans on t.v. ads. Then they required restaurants to have no-smoking sections. Then came the bans on airplanes, schools, workplaces, entire restaurants, then bars, too—and now, sometimes, apartments and outdoor spaces, even. ~ John Stossel
And then he'd light his pipe, and then
He'd let it go clean out again. ~ James Stephens

Tobacco is a product prepared from the leaves of the tobacco plant by curing them. The plant is part of the genus Nicotiana and of the Solanaceae (nightshade) family. Tobacco contains the alkaloid nicotine, which is a stimulant. Dried tobacco leaves are mainly used for smoking in cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, and flavored shisha tobacco. They can be also consumed as snuff, chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco and snus.


  • He who doth not smoke hath either known no great griefs, or refuseth himself the softest consolation, next to that which comes from heaven.
  • Woman in this scale, the weed in that, Jupiter, hang out thy balance, and weigh them both; and if thou give the preference to woman, all I can say is, the next time Juno ruffles thee—O Jupiter, try the weed.
  • After he had administer'd a dose
    Of snuff mundungus to his nose;
    And powder'd th' inside of his skull,
    Instead of th' outward jobbernol,
    He shook it with a scornful look
    On th' adversary, and thus he spoke.
  • Divine in hookas, glorious in a pipe
    When tipp'd with amber, mellow, rich, and ripe; …
    Yet thy true lovers more admire by far
    Thy naked beauties - give me a cigar!
  • I'm gettin' tired of guys who smoke pipes. When are they gonna outlaw this shit? Guy with a fuckin' pipe! It's an arrogant thing to place a burning barrier between you and the rest of the world. It's supposed to imply thoughtfulness or intelligence. It's not intelligent to stand around with a controlled fire sticking out of your mouth. I say, "Hey, professor! You want somethin' hot to suck on? Call me! I'll give ya somethin' to put in your mouth!" I think these pipe-smokers oughta just move to the next level and go ahead and suck a dick. There's nothing wrong with suckin' dicks. Men do it, women do it; can't be all bad if everybody's doin' it. I say, Drop the pipe, and go to the dick! That's my advice. I'm here to help.
  • Haven't we had about enough of this cigar smoking shit? When are these fat, arrogant, overfed, white-collar business criminals going to extinguish their cigars and move along to their next abomination? Soft, white, business pussies suckin' on a big brown dick. That's all it is, folks, a big, brown dick. You know, Freud used to say, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." Yeah? Well, sometimes it's a big brown dick! With a fat, criminal business asshole sucking on the wet end of it! But, hey. The news is not all bad for me. Not all bad. Want to hear the good part? Cancer of the mouth. Good! Fuck 'em! Makes me happy; it's an attractive disease. So light up, suspender-man, and suck that smoke deep down into your empty suit. And blow it out your ass, you miserable cocksucker!
  • As the most powerful state, the U.S. makes its own laws, using force and conducting economic warfare at will. It also threatens sanctions against countries that do not abide by its conveniently flexible notions of "free trade." In one important case, Washington has employed such threats with great effectiveness (and GATT approval) to force open Asian markets for U.S. tobacco exports and advertising, aimed primarily at the growing markets of women and children. The U.S. Agriculture Department has provided grants to tobacco firms to promote smoking overseas. Asian countries have attempted to conduct educational anti-smoking campaigns, but they are overwhelmed by the miracles of the market, reinforced by U.S. state power through the sanctions threat. Philip Morris, with an advertising and promotion budget of close to $9 billion in 1992, became China's largest advertiser. The effect of Reaganite sanction threats was to increase advertising and promotion of cigarette smoking (particularly U.S. brands) quite sharply in Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea, along with the use of these lethal substances. In South Korea, for example, the rate of growth in smoking more than tripled when markets for U.S. lethal drugs were opened in 1988. The Bush Administration extended the threats to Thailand, at exactly the same time that the "war on drugs" was declared; the media were kind enough to overlook the coincidence, even suppressing the outraged denunciations by the very conservative Surgeon-General. Oxford University epidemiologist Richard Peto estimates that among Chinese children under 20 today, 50 million will die of cigarette-related diseases, an achievement that ranks high even by 20th century standards.
    • Noam Chomsky, In Tony Evans (ed.), Human Rights Fifty Years on: A Reappraisal, 1997

  • The pipe, with solemn interposing puff,
    Makes half a sentence at a time enough;
    The dozing sages drop the drowsy strain,
    Then pause, and puff—and speak, and pause again.
  • Pernicious weed! whose scent the fair annoys
    Unfriendly to society's chief joys,
    Thy worst effect is banishing for hours
    The sex whose presence civilizes ours.
  • Tobacco was the major model used to establish the principals and methods of plant somatic cell genetics including in vitro propagation of cells and tissues, totipotency of somatic cells, doubled haploid production and genetic transformation.
    • Christiane Gebhardt: (2016). "The historical role of species from the Solanaceae plant family in genetic research". Theoretical and Applied Genetics 129 (12): 2281–2294. ISSN 0040-5752. DOI:10.1007/s00122-016-2804-1.
  • The money expended for liquor and tobacco is the difference between a young man making a success in life and making a failure.
I am convinced that if I had been a smoker I would never have been able to withstand the worries that have burdened me for so long.
Perhaps thanks to that the German people owes its salvation to me.
~ Adolf Hitler
  • I am convinced that if I had been a smoker I would never have been able to withstand the worries that have burdened me for so long.
    Perhaps thanks to that the German people owes its salvation to me.
    Original: Ich bin überzeugt, wenn ich Raucher gewesen wäre, nie würde ich den Sorgen standgehalten haben, die mich seit so langer Zeit belasten. Vielleicht verdankt dem das deutsche Volk mir seine Rettung.
  • Indeed, without tobacco it is doubtful whether the Virginia colony could have survived at all. Initially all the authorities, at home and abroad, were against tobacco farming, largely because King James I hated the “weed,” thinking it “tending to general and new Corruption both of Men’s Bodies and Manners.” Governor Dale actually legislated against it in 1616, ordering that only one acre could be laid down to tobacco for every two of corn. It proved impossible to enforce. By the next year tobacco was being laid down even in Jamestown itself, in the streets and market-place. Men reckoned that, for the same amount of labor, tobacco yielded six times as much as any other crop. It was grown close to the banks of many little rivers, such as the James, the York, and the Rappahannock. Every small plantation had its own riverside wharf and boat to get the crop to a transatlantic packet. Roads were not necessary. Land would yield tobacco only for three years: then a fresh set of fields had to be planted. But the real problem was labor—hence slavery. The increasing supply of cheap, high-quality slave-labor from Africa came (as the planters would say and believe) as a Godsend to America’s infant tobacco industry. So it flourished mightily. James I himself signaled his capitulation as early as 1619 when he laid a tax of a shilling in the pound (5 percent) on tobacco imports to England, though he limited the total (from Bermuda as well as Virginia) to 55,000 lb a year. But soon all such quantitative restrictions were lifted and tobacco became the first great economic fact of life in the new English-speaking civilization growing up across the Atlantic. It continued to be counted as a blessing over four centuries until, in the fullness of time, President Bill Clinton brought the wheel back full circle to the days of James I, and in August 1996 declared tobacco an addictive drug.
    • Paul Johnson, A History of the American People (1999), p. 38
  • And a woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke.
  • For I hate, yet love thee, so,
    That, whichever thing I show,
    The plain truth will seem to be
    A constrained hyperbole,
    And the passion to proceed
    More from a mistress than a weed.
  • For thy sake, tobacco, I
    Would do anything but die.
  • Nay, rather,
    Plant divine, of rarest virtue;
    Blisters on the tongue would hurt you.
  • Thou in such a cloud dost bind us,
    That our worst foes cannot find us,
    And ill fortune, that would thwart us,
    Shoots at rovers, shooting at us;
    While each man, through thy height'ning steam,
    Does like a smoking Etna seem.
  • Thou through such a mist dost show us,
    That our best friends do not know us.
  • What this country needs is a really good 5-cent cigar.
    • Thomas Riley Marshall, Vice President under Woodrow Wilson, to Henry M. Rose, the assistant secretary of the Senate, while Marshall was presiding as president of the Senate. Reported in the New York Tribune (January 4, 1920), part 7, p. 1. Confirmed in Marshall's autobiography, Recollections of Thomas R. Marshall (1925), caption facing p. 244; and in Charles M. Thomas, Thomas Riley Marshall (1939), p. 175.
  • A good cigar is like a beautiful chick with a great body who also knows the American League box scores.
  • They threaten me with lung cancer, and still I smoke and smoke. If they'd only threaten me with hard work, I might stop.
  • Good food, good sex, good digestion, good sleep: to these basic animal pleasures, man has added nothing but the good cigarette.
  • Life without smoking is like the smoke without the roast.
  • Sir Plume, of amber snuff-box justly vain,
    And the nice conduct of a clouded cane.
  • Just where the breath of life his nostrils drew,
    A charge of snuff the wily virgin threw;
    The gnomes direct, to every atom just,
    The pungent grains of titillating dust,
    Sudden, with starting tears each eye o'erflows,
    And the high dome re-echoes to his nose.
  • Few people on this planet know what it is to be truly despised. Can you blame them? I earn a living fronting an organizing that kills one thousand two hundred human beings a day; 1200 people. We're talking two jumbo jet plane loads of men, women, and children. I mean there's Attila, Genghis, and me, Nick Naylor the face of cigarettes, the Colonel Saunders of nicotine. This is where I work, the Academy of Tobacco Studies. It was established by seven gentlemen you may recognize from C-Span. These guys realized quick if they were gonna claim cigarettes were not addictive they better have proof. This is the man they rely on, Erhardt Von Grupten Mundt. They found him in Germany. I won't go into the details, he's been testing the link between nicotine and lung cancer for thirty years, and hasn't found any conclusive results. The man's a genius, he could disprove gravity. Then we got our sharks. We draft them out of Ivy League law schools and give them timeshares and sports cars. It's just like a John Grisham novel. Well you know without all the espionage. Most importantly we got spin control. That's where I come in. I get paid to talk. I don't have an MD or law degree. I have a baccalaureate in kicking ass and taking names. You know that guy who can pick up any girl? I'm him, on crack.
  • In 1910, the US was producing ten billion cigarettes a year, by 1930 we were up to one hundred twenty three billion, what happened in between? Three things: a World War, Dieting and movies. [...] 1927, talking pictures are born. Suddenly directors need to give their actors something to do while they're talking. Cary Grant and Carole Lombard are lighting up, Bette Davis, a chimney, and Bogart, remember the first picture with him and Lauren Bacall? [...] She sort of shimmies in through the doorway. Nineteen years old. Pure sex. She says "Anyone got a match?" and Bogie throws the matches at her... and she catches them. Greatest romance in the century, how did it start? Lighting a cigarette. In these days, when someone smokes in the movies, they're either a psychopath... or an European. The message that Hollywood needs to send out is "Smoking is Cool!". We need the cast of, uh, Will & Grace smoking in their living room, Forrest Gump puffing away between his box of chocolates, Hugh Grant earning back the love of Julia Roberts by buying her favorite brand - her Virginia Slims. Most of the actors smoke already. If they start doing it on screen... We can put the sex back into cigarettes.
  • And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held
    A pouncet-box, which ever and anon
    He gave his nose and took 't away again;
    Who therefor angry, when it next came there,
    Took it in snuff.
  • Divine Tobacco.
    • Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (1589-96), Book III, Canto V, Stanza 32.
  • His pipe was always going out,
    And then he'd have to search about
    In all his pockets, and he'd mow
    O, deary me! and, musha now!
    And then he'd light his pipe, and then
    He'd let it go clean out again.
  • Generally, the control freaks only increase control.  Take cigarettes.  At first it was just warning labels.  Then, bans on t.v. ads.  Then they required restaurants to have no-smoking sections.  Then came the bans on airplanes, schools, workplaces, entire restaurants, then bars, too—and now, sometimes, apartments and outdoor spaces, even.
    • John Stossel, "Control Freaks," Stossel (4 December 2014), 9:56 PM ET
  • If you have a compulsive behavior pattern such as smoking... this is what you can do: When you notice the compulsive need arising in you, stop and take three conscious breaths. This generates awareness. Then for a few minutes be aware of the compulsive urge itself as an energy field inside you. Consciously feel that need to physically or mentally ingest or consume a certain substance or the desire to act out some form of compulsive behavior.
    Then take a few more conscious breaths... As awareness grows, addictive patterns will weaken and eventually dissolve. Remember, however, to catch any thoughts that justify the addictive behavior, sometimes with clever arguments, as they arise in you mind. Ask yourself, Who is talking here? And you will realize the addiction is talking. As long as you know that, as long as you are present as the observer of your mind, it is less likely to trick you into doing what it wants. p. 149
  • I am of course notoriously hooked on cigarettes. I keep hoping the things will kill me. A fire at one end and a fool at the other.

Quotes about secondhand smoke


Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 803-06.
  • It's all one thing—both tend into one scope—
    To live upon Tobacco and on Hope,
    The one's but smoke, the other is but wind.
  • Little tube of mighty pow'r,
    Charmer of an idle hour,
    Object of my warm desire.
  • The man who smokes, thinks like a sage and acts like a Samaritan!
  • Tobacco, divine, rare superexcellent tobacco, which goes far beyond all panaceas, potable gold and philosopher's stones, a sovereign remedy to all diseases.
  • Sublime tobacco! which from east to west,
    Cheers the tar's labour or the Turkman's rest;
    Which on the Moslem's ottoman divides
    His hours, and rivals opium and his brides;
    Magnificent in Stamboul, but less grand,
    Though not less loved, in Wapping or the Strand:
    Divine in hookas, glorious in a pipe,
    When tipp'd with amber, mellow, rich, and ripe;
    Like other charmers wooing the caress,
    More dazzlingly when daring in full dress;
    Yet thy true lovers more admire by far
    Thy naked beauties—Give me a cigar!
  • Contented I sit with my pint and my pipe,
    Puffing sorrow and care far away,
    And surely the brow of grief nothing can wipe,
    Like smoking and moist'ning our clay;
    * * * * *
    For tho' at my simile many may joke,
    Man is but a pipe—and his life but smoke.
    • Content and a Pipe. Old ballad.
  • The Indian weed, withered quite,
    Green at noon, cut down at night,
    Shows thy decay.
    All flesh is hay.
    Thus think, then drink tobacco.
    * * * *
    And when the smoke ascends on high,
    Then thou behold'st vanity
    Of worldly stuff,
    Gone at a puff.
    Thus think, then drink tobacco.
    • Attributed to Erskine, Gospel Sonnets, Meditations on Tobacco, Part I. Printed in a Collection Two Broadsides against Tobacco (1672). Erskine claimed only Part II, Part I. is from an old poem.
  • Tobacco, an outlandish weed,
    Doth in the land strange wonders breed;
    It taints the breath, the blood it dries,
    It burns the head, it blinds the eyes;
    It dries the lungs, scourgeth the lights,
    It 'numbs the soul, it dulls the sprites;
    It brings a man into a maze,
    And makes him sit for others' gaze;
    It mars a man, it mars a purse,
    A lean one fat, a fat one worse;
    A white man black, a black man white,
    A night a day, a day a night;
    It turns the brain like cat in pan,
    And makes a Jack a gentleman.
  • With pipe and book at close of day,
    Oh, what is sweeter? mortal say.
    • It matters not what book on knee,
      Old Isaak or the Odyssey,
      It matters not meerschaum or clay.
    • Richard Le Gallienne, in volumes in Folio. See Cope's Smoker's Garland.
  • Tobacco is a traveler,
    Come from the Indies hither;
    It passed sea and land
    Ere it came to my hand,
    And 'scaped the wind and weather.

    Tobacco's a musician.
    And in a pipe delighteth;
    It descends in a close,
    Through the organ of the nose,
    With a relish that inviteth.
  • Some sigh for this and that;
    My wishes don't go far;
    The world may wag at will,
    So I have my cigar.
  • Neither do thou lust after that tawney weed tobacco.
  • Ods me I marle what pleasure or felicity they have in taking their roguish tobacco. It is good for nothing but to choke a man, and fill him full of smoke and embers.
    • Ben Jonson, Every Man in His Humour, Act III, scene 2.
  • And a woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke.
  • For Maggie has written a letter to give me my choice between
    The wee little whimpering Love and the great god Nick O'Teen.

    And I have been servant of Love for barely a twelvemonth clear,
    But I have been priest of Partagas a matter of seven year.

    And the gloom of my bachelor days is flecked with the cherry light
    Of stumps that I burned to friendship, and pleasure and work and fight.
  • Tobac! dont mon âme est ravie,
    Lorsque je te vois te perdre en l'air,
    Aussi promptement q'un éclair,
    Je vois l'image de ma vie.
    • Tobacco, charmer of my mind,
      When like the meteor's transient gleam,
      Thy substance gone to air I find,
      I think, alas! my life's the same.
    • Misson, Memoirs of his travels over England (1697). Translation by Ozell.
  • I would I were a cigarette
    Between my Lady's lithe sad lips,
    Where Death like Love, divinely set.
    With exquisite sighs and sips,
    Feeds and is fed.
    * * * *
    For life is Love and Love is death,
    It was my hap, a well-a-day!
    To burn my little hour away.
  • Old man, God bless you, does your pipe taste sweetly?
    A beauty, by my soul!
    A ruddy flower-pot, rimmed with gold so neatly,
    What ask you for the bowl?
    O sir, that bowl for worlds I would not part with;
    A brave man gave it me,
    Who won it—now what think you—of a bashaw?
    At Belgrade's victory.
  • Tobacco's but an Indian weed,
    Grows green at morn, cut down at eve;
    It shows our decay, we are but clay.
    Think on this when you smoak Tobacco.
    • As quoted by Walter Scott, Rob Roy. First printed in Wit and Mirth, or Pills to Purge Melancholy, Volume I, p. 315. (Ed. 1707).
  • Yes, social friend, I love thee well,
    In learned doctors' spite;
    Thy clouds all other clouds dispel
    And lap me in delight.
  • It is not for nothing that this "ignoble tabagie," as Michelet calls it, spreads over all the world. Michelet rails against it because it renders you happily apart from thought or work;… Whatever keeps a man in the front garden, whatever checks wandering fancy and all inordinate ambition, whatever makes for lounging and contentment, makes just so surely for domestic happiness.
  • Am I not—a smoker and a brother?
    • A Veteran of Smokedom, The Smoker's Guide, Chapter IV. Last line.
  • Look at me—follow me—smell me! The "stunning" cigar I am smoking is one of a sample intended for the Captain General of Cuba, and the King of Spain, and positively cost a shilling! Oh! * * * I have some dearer at home. Yes, the expense is frightful, but——it! who can smoke the monstrous rubbish of the shops?
    • A Veteran of Smokedom, The Smoker's Guide, Chapter IV.
  • To smoke a cigar through a mouthpiece is equivalent to kissing a lady through a respirator.
    • A Veteran of Smokedom, The Smoker's Guide, Chapter V.
  • The cigarettes Mr. Slump smoked were prepared by doctors, so the advertisements declared, with the sole purpose of protecting his respiratory system. Yet Mr. Slump suffered and the young secretary suffered with him, hideously. For the first hours of every day he was possessed by a cough which arose from tartarean depths and was relieved only by whisky.
  • Dick Stoype
    Was a dear friend and lover of the pipe.
    He used to say one pipe of Wishart's best
    Gave life a zest.
    To him 'twas meat and drink and physic,
    To see the friendly vapor
    Curl round his midnight taper,
    And the black fume
    Clothe all the room,
    In clouds as dark as sciences metaphysic.
  • A cigarette is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can you want?
  • Lastly, the ashes left behind,
    May daily show to move the mind,
    That to ashes and dust return we must:
    Then think, and drink tobacco.
    • G. W. Probably George Withers, in Manuscript of 17th. Cent. owned by J. Payne Collier. Printed in My Little Book of Songs and Ballads from Ancient Musick Books Manuscript (1851). "Drink tobacco" means drinking in, or smoking.

Oxford Dictionary of Quotations

Quotes reported in Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (1929), p. 115.
  • Ashore it's wine, women and song; aboard it's rum, bum and bacca.
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