Time Essay: SMOKING: FIGHTING FIRE WITH IRE

A bilious tract written in 1604 by King James I of Great Britain has made that widely unadmired monarch a belated hero to certain Americans in 1976. The royal broadside, A Counterblaste to Tobacco, was a lengthy denunciation of smoking, culminating in the sentence:

"A custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black stinking fume thereof, nearest resembling the horrible Stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless." James's obsessive abhorrence of smoking is more than matched today by members...

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