The Non Smokers' Movement of Australia Inc.  
Protecting the rights of the Non-smoking majority from tobacco smoke
and from the tobacco industry's propaganda.

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Quotes about Smoking and Tobacco


My smoking might be bothering you, but it's killing me.
- Colette, (1873-1954) French novelist,  Source: seen on the web

But cheer up -- we could be selling tobacco. It's not like software kills people if used as intended
- David Chase,  Source: seen on the web

Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life
-Brooke Shields, during an interview to become spokesperson for a federal anti-smoking campaign,  Source: seen on the web

Tobacco, divine, rare, super excellent tobacco, which goes far beyond all the panaceas, potable gold, and philosophers' stones, a sovereign remedy to all diseases
. . . but as it is commonly abused by most men, which take it as tinkers do ale,
'tis a plague, a mischief, a violent purger of goods, lands, health; hellish, devilish and damned tobacco, the ruin and overthrow of body and soul.
- Robert Burton, (1577-1640), English clergyman author, Anatomy of Melancholy,  Source: seen on the web

We shall not refuse tobacco the credit of being sometimes medical, when used temperately, though an acknowledged poison.
-Jesse Torrey, (1787-1834), The Moral Instructor, Pt. IV, Source: Bloomsbury book of quotations.

You know, it's cigarettes that killed (Jerry) Garcia. Everyone thinks it's heroin, but it wasn't. It was cigarettes.
-John Mellencamp, 1996,  Source: seen on the web

Tobacco drieth the brain, dimmeth the sight, vitiateth the smell, hurteth the stomach, destroyeth the concoction, disturbeth the humors and spirits, corrupteth the breath, induceth a trembling of the limbs, exsiccateth the windpipe, lungs, and liver, annoyeth the milt, scorcheth the heart, and causeth the blood to be adjusted.
-Tobias Venner, (1577-1660) Via Recta ad Vitam Longam, Source: Bloomsbury book of quotations

Go mad, and beat their wives;
Plunge (after shocking lives)
Razors and carving knives
Into their gizzards.
- C. S. Calverley, (1831-84), English poet., Ode to Tobacco.
This is possibly a reference to a letter in the medical journal Lancet, 14 Feb. 1857: "[Dr. Webster] distinctly enumerates tobacco as one of the causes of insanity. . . . Two brothers in one family had become deranged from smoking tobacco, and in that state had committed suicide." Source: The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations

Coffee and smoking are the last great addictions.
- Lara Flynn Boyle: seen on the web.


It is now proved beyond doubt that smoking is one of the leading causes of statistics.
- Fletcher Knebel, Reader's Digest, December 1961, Source: seen on the web

I have made it a rule never to smoke more than one cigar at a time..
-Mark Twain, (1835-1910),  Source: seen on the web

Cigarettes are killers that travel in packs..
- Mary S. Ott, Bartlett's Unfamiliar Quotations (Leonard Louis Levinson), Source: Bloomsbury book of quotations.

The believing we do something when we do nothing is the first illusion of tobacco.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals, 1859, Source: seen on the web

A man of no conversation should smoke.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals, 1866.,  Source: seen on the web.

Smokers, male and female, inject and excuse idleness in their lives every time they light a cigarette
-Colette, 1873-1954) French novelist., The Pure and the Impure (1933), Source: seen on the web

Pipe-smokers spend so much time cleaning, filling and fooling with their pipes, they don't have time to get into mischief.
-Bill Vaughan,  Source: seen on the web

LADY BRACKNELL: . . . Do you smoke?
JACK: Well, yes, I must admit I smoke.
LADY BRACKNELL: I am glad to hear it. A man should always have an occupation of some kind. There are far too many idle men in London as it is.
-Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, 1895, Source The International Thesaurus of Quotations


Smoking is very bad for you and should only be done because it looks so good.
People who don't smoke have a terrible time finding something polite to do with their lips.
- P.J. O'Rourke, Modern Manners, 1983, Source:The International Thesaurus of Quotations

Do you mind if I smoke? (Oscar Wilde to Sarah Bernhardt) I don't care if you burn.
- Sarah Bernhardt,  Source: seen on the web.

When asked whether he minded if someone smoked in a non-smoking compartment.
Certainly not - if you don't object if I'm sick.
- Thomas Beecham, (1879-1961) British conductor, Source: Bloomsbury book of quotations.

They smoke cigarettes professionally. The smoke is inhaled very sharply and the teeth are bared.
Then the head turns to give you a profile and the smoke is exhaled slowly and deliberately and the grey jet stream becomes a beautiful blue cloud of smoke.
What are they trying to tell us?
- Jeffrey Bernard, Spectator, 1982, Source: The International Thesaurus of Quotations

The Englishman has been taught at his public school that feeling is bad form.
He must not express great joy or sorrow, or even open his mouth too wide when he talks -- his pipe might fall out if he did.
- E. M. Forster,  Source: seen on the web.

Smoking is a shocking thing - blowing smoke out of our mouths into other people's mouths, eyes, and noses, and having the same thing done to us.
- Samuel Johnson,  Source: seen on the web


Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
- Sigmund Freud,  Source: seen on the web.

Usually we trust that nature has a master plan. But what was it she expected us to do with tobacco?.
- Bill Vaughan, Source: The penguin Dictionary of modern humorous quotes.

Tobacco surely was designed
To poison, and destroy mankind.
- Philip Freneau, (1752-1832) US poet, Poems, 'Tobacco', Source: Bloomsbury book of quotations.

Santa Claus wears a Red Suit,
He must be a communist.
And a beard and long hair,
Must be a pacifist.
What's in that pipe that he's smoking?
- Arlo Guthrie,  Source: seen on the web.


I have seen many a man turn his gold into smoke, but you are the first who has turned smoke into gold.
- Queen Elizabeth I, Queen of England. (1533-1603), Speaking to Sir Walter Raleigh who brought the tobacco plant to England from America,  Source: Bloomsbury book of quotations.

The Elizabethan age might be better named the beginning of the smoking era..
- J. M. Barrie, (1860-1937) British novelist and dramatist, My Lady Nicotine,  Source: Bloomsbury book of quotations

This vice brings in one hundred million francs in taxes every year.
I will certainly forbid it at once - as soon as you can name a virtue that brings in as much revenue.
- Napoleon III, (1808-73) French emperor.
Reply when asked to ban smoking. Anekdotenschatz (H. Hoffmeister) Source: Bloomsbury book of quotations

I'll tell you why I like the cigarette business. It cost a penny to make. Sell it for a dollar. It's addictive. And there's a fantastic brand loyalty.
- Warren Buffett, Investment Guru,  Source: seen on the web.

God has intended the great to be great and the little to be little ...
The trade unions, under the European system, destroy liberty ...
I do not mean to say that a dollar a day is enough to support a workingman
... not enough to support a man and five children if he insists on smoking and drinking beer.
But the man who cannot live on bread and water is not fit to live! A family may live on good bread and water in the morning, water and bread at midday, and good bread and water at night!
- Rev. Henry Ward, Beecher,  Source: seen on the web.

The difference between a man and his valet: they both smoke the same cigars, but only one pays for them.
- Robert Frost,  Source: seen on the web.

It is more profitable for your Congressman to support the tobacco industry than your life.
- Jackie Mason,  Source: seen on the web.

The tobacco business is a conspiracy against womanhood and manhood. It owes its origin to that scoundrel Sir Walter Raleigh, who was likewise the founder of American slavery.
- Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, Tobacco, Source: Bloomsbury book of quotations.

Tobacco exports should be expanded aggressively because Americans are smoking less.
- James Danforth Quayle, ex US vice president, Source: seen on the web.


Caution: Cigarette Smoking May Be Hazardous to Your Health.
-Anonymous, Statement required on cigarette packages and cartons by the 89th US Congress, 1st Session, Sources: The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations.

Cyber Seafaring souls have floated by.
Thanks for not smoking in my home (page).
-,  Source: seen on the web


I'm not addicted to nicotine, so why do I have to participate in your drug addiction?.
- Ken Faver,  Source: seen on the web.

To the average cigarette smoker the world is his ashtray.
- Alexander Chase, Perspectives (1966)., Source: The International Thesaurus of Quotations.

Asthma doesn't seem to bother me any more unless I'm around cigars or dogs. The thing that would bother me most would be a dog smoking a cigar.
- Steve Allen,  Source: seen on the web.

"Sometimes I simply feel that the whole world is a cigarette and I'm the only ashtray."
- Anonymous,  Source: seen on the web

I asked a coughing friend of mine why he doesn't stop smoking. 'In this town it wouldn't do any good,' he explained. 'I happen to be a chain breather.'
- Robert Sylvester, (1907-75) US writer, Bartlett's Unfamiliar Quotations (Leonard Louis Levinson), Source: Bloomsbury book of quotations.


Only Satan can grant man the faculty of expelling smoke through the mouth.
- the Spanish Inquisition when imprisoning Rodrigo de Jerez, one of Columbusís sailors, and the first person to bring tobacco to Europe. Source: The Economist, print edition, March 30th 2013.

Smoking is 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.
- King James I of England, (1566-1625) A Counter-blaste to Tobacco (1604).
The passage was written shortly after Sir Walter Raleigh introduced tobacco to England from the Americas., Source: seen on the web.

It was the sort of moment that a smoker would fill in with a cigarette and an ex-smoker filled in with the memory of a cigarette.
- Peter Corris, The January Zone, 1987, Source: The Macquarie Dictionary of Australian Quotations.

Ods me, I marvel 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, (1573-1637) English dramatist, Every Man in His Humour, III:5,  Source: Bloomsbury book of quotations.

A cigarette is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want?.
- Oscar Wilde, (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author., in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 6 (1891).,  Source: seen on the web.

Dr Parr...asked him, how he had acquired his power of smoking at such a rate? Lamb replied, 'I toiled after it, sir, as some men toil after virtue.'
- Charles Lamb, (1775-1834) British essayist., Memoirs of Charles Lamb (Talfourd),  Source: Bloomsbury book of quotations.

Tobacco is a dirty weed. I like it.
It satisfies no normal need. I like it
It makes you thin, it makes you lean,
It takes the hair right off your bean.
It's the worst darn stuff I've ever seen.
I like it.
- Graham Lee, Hemminger, (1896-1949), 'Tobacco', Penn State Froth, Nov 1915 , Source: seen on the web.


Mr Howard Saxby, literary agent, was knitting a sock. He knitted a good deal, he would tell you if you asked him, to keep himself from smoking, adding that he also smoked a good deal to keep himself from knitting.
- P. G. Wodehouse, Cocktail Time, 1958, Source: The penguin Dictionary of modern humorous quotes.

For thy sake, tobacco, I would do anything but die.
- Charles Lamb, A Fare-well to Tobacco (1805), Source: The International Thesaurus of Quotations.

This very night I am going to leave off tobacco! Surely there must be some other world in which this unconquerable purpose shall be realised.
- Charles Lamb, (1775-1834) British essayist., Letter to Thomas Manning, 26 Dec 1815 ,  Source: seen on the web.

Perfection is such a nuisance that I often regret having cured myself of using tobacco.
-Emile Zola, (1840-1902) French writer,  Source: seen on the web.

The best way to stop smoking is to carry wet matches.
- Anonymous,  Source: seen on the web.

I tried to stop smoking cigarettes by telling myself I just didn't want to smoke, but I didn't believe myself.
- Barbara Kelly,  Source: seen on the web.

To cease smoking is the easiest thing I ever did. I ought to know because I've done it a thousand times.
- Mark Twain, 1835-1910),  Source: seen on the web.


Some things are better eschewed than chewed; tobacco is one of them.
- George Dennison Prentice, Prenticeana (1860), Source: The International Thesaurus of Quotations.

My father is my idol, so I always did everything like him.
He used to work two jobs and still come home happy every night.
He didn't do drugs or drink, and he wouldn't let anyone smoke in his house.
Those are rules I adopted, too.
- Earvin "Magic" Johnson,  Source: seen on the web.

`You ain't got any tobacco,' he said scornfully to Bunyip Bluegum.
`I can see that at a glance. You're one of the non smoking sort, all fur and feathers.'
- Norman Lindsay, The Magic Pudding, 1918. Source: The Macquarie Dictionary of Australian Quotations.

Watch what you choose to do. For instance, someone might want you to smoke.
Never forget that I told you - don't do it. Say no.
That can of beer that somebody wants you to try, don't do it. Don't you ever do it.
That drug that someone might want you to use, don't touch it.
Stay away from it. It can destroy you.
- Gordon B. Hinckley,  Source: seen on the web.

America, defeated by the Spaniards, was victorious over its haughty invaders by forcing them to acquire its habits: its gifts of syphilis and tobacco were nails in the coffin of the new rulers.
Would that that plant had remained forever in obscurity! An educated, gentle and healthy person of intellect, whom God has blessed with wisdom, should assiduously avoid temptation, not pollute his mouth with the stench of the pipe
...Who was that first reckless person to try that poison, more dangerous than hemlock and worse than the poppy?
When he opened his snuff box, he unwittingly opened Pandora's box, out of which were released a thousand evils, one more pitiless than the other
...For the unfortunate soul who heeds not sound advice and once indulges in the addiction, the efforts and warnings of sound reason are in vain
...Love is said to be a sudden, epileptic happening, but smoking is a chronic epilepsy.
- Dr. Fagot, Court physician to Louis XIV, The Gift of Gardening - National Geographic, Vol. 181, No. 5, May 1992
A reply to an apology in favour of smoking, the French Academy, 1699, Source: seen on the web.

Neither do thou lust after that tawney weed tobacco.
- Ben Jonson, (1573-1637) English dramatist., Bartholomew Fair, II:6 ,  Source: Bloomsbury book of quotations.


When I was young, I kissed my first woman, and smoked my first cigarette on the same day. Believe me, never since have I wasted any more time on tobacco.
- Arturo Toscanini, (1867-1957) Italian conductor, Source: seen on the web.

"Remember, if you smoke after sex you're doing it too fast".
- Anonymous,  Source: seen on the web.

At certain times I like sex - like after a cigarette.
- Rodney Dangerfield,  Source: seen on the web.

Now the only thing I miss about sex is the cigarette afterward. Next to the first one in the morning, it's the best one of all. It tasted so good that even if I had been frigid I would have pretended otherwise just to be able to smoke it.
- Florence King,  Source: seen on the web.

The sex was so good that even the neighbours had a cigarette.
- Bumper Sticker,  Source: seen on the web.


As ye smoke, so shall ye reek.
- Anonymous, Reader's Digest 1949, Source: The penguin Dictionary of modern humorous quotes.

What smells so? Has somebody been burning a Rag, or is there a Dead Mule in the Back yard?
No, the Man is Smoking a Five-Cent Cigar.
- Eugene Field, (1850-95) US poet and journalist., The Tribune Primer, 'The Five-Cent,  Source: Bloomsbury book of quotations.


Cigarette, n.: A fire at one end, a fool at the other, and a bit of tobacco in between.
- Anonymous,  Source: seen on the web

I am thoroughly satisfied that smoking is detrimental to the intelligence of Australians who I notice now are beginning to look sickly, pale and intellectually destitute.
- King O'Malley, 12 February 1902, Commonwealth Parliamentary Debates , Source: The Macquarie Dictionary of Australian Quotations.

Why are cigarettes sold in gas stations when smoking is prohibited there?.
- Anonymous,  Source: seen on the web.

There is no human reason why a child should not admire and emulate his teacher's ability to do sums, rather than the village bum's ability to whittle sticks and smoke cigarettes. The reason why the child does not is plain enough -- the bum has put himself on an equality with him and the teacher has not.
- Floyd Dell,  Source: seen on the web


Quotes in this section are reproduced from "How The Cadillac Got Its Fins" by Jack Mingo 1994 in Harper Business.

Cigarettes are not addictive.
- Brennan Dawson, Tobacco Institute (USA), 1994.

I think we overuse the word "addictive". I think smoking can be a habit.
- Brennan Dawson, Tobacco Institute (USA), 1991.

It's always been our policy that young people shouldn't smoke.
- Brennan Dawson, Tobacco Institute (USA), 1991.

There is no science behind the accusation that advertising causes smoking initiation.
- Thomas Lauria, Tobacco Institute (USA), 1991.

This attempt to ban smoking is an example of social engineering on a vast scale. Such massive intervention in the private lives and choices of one quarter of our adult population recalls the extremism of Prohibition, the last national crusade against a supposed social evil.
- Charles Whitley, Tobacco Institute (USA), 1990.

If I saw or thought that there were any evidence whatsoever that conclusively proved that, in some way, tobacco was harmful to people, and I believed it in my heart and my soul, then I would get out of the business and I wouldn't be involved in it. Honestly, I have not seen one piece of medical evidence that has been presented by anybody, anywhere that absolutely, totally said that smoking caused the disease or created it. I believe this. I'm sitting here talking to you with an extremely clear conscience.
- Gerald H. Long, president of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, May 19, 1986, as quoted in the Washington Times.

It's part of the whole anti-business movement, the Green Movement. If you think it's bad here, it's even worse in Europe. People have more time to think these days, and so they're more and more critical of everything. Look how critical they are of governments. And there this health-consciousness movement running through the world.
- John Dollisson, vice president of corporate affairs, Philip Morris, explaining the antismoking movement.

Wanted For Murder Poster Tobacco Executives Directors Enlarge the Wanted Poster

Gosh, we're awed at how a story can be told and retold by the anti-cigarette people, and how little attention is given in the press to claims for cigarettes.
- James C. Bowling, assistant to the president, Philip Morris.

I think that if it were ever conclusively shown that there was some connection between smoking and, say, lung cancer most ad agencies would not be advertising cigarettes. But it's easy to get stampeded, and the tobacco industry is being very much maligned.... The fact is that I have never met a finer group in my life than the people in the tobacco industry.... And tobacco has given pleasure to an awful lot of people. You should never act on hunches; suspicions, and stir-ups.
- Henry Pattison, account executive for the Philip Morris Company at the Benton and Bowles Agency; 1969.

Just what the doctor ordered. - Ad, L & M cigarettes, 1956.

    The Non-Smokers' Movement of Australia Inc, Box K860, Haymarket NSW 1240.  
This page was last updated on Friday, 19th December 2014. Many thanks to Pierre, a supporter who supplied this web page from his giant database of quotations.
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