What's All the Fuming About?

Poor smokers: they're the one dysfunctional minority nobody cares about

Time: the early 21st century. Scene: the First Church of Christ, Smoker, the only place where nicotine addicts can find sanctuary in a society that has declared their pastime illegal. Communicants file up to the altar rail for a long drag on a cigarette -- a precious, stale relic from the last carton of Marlboros sold before the U.S. government banned smoking in 1997. The priest blesses the faithful, they cough in response, and all exeunt to today's hymn, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.

It could come to this. Smokers may soon need to organize themselves into an underground religion, elevating...

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