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Smoking: The Artificial Passion - David Krogh
I really enjoyed this book.
This book dived deep into what I think is the most interesting question about smoking: WHY do people actually smoke?
I’ve been very disappointed to see many “pro smoking” books totally discount tobacco addiction. This book is definitely not pro smoking, but is also not concerned with proving any heath consequences. The book strictly examined the nature of smoking and other addictions..As a book about addiction itself, it was quite good. Technical and detailed enough to be intellectually satisfying, but simple enough to be perfectly understandable by a lay person.
I find addiction very interesting, especially how different smoking is from other addictions. The book didn’t deal with the history of tobacco enough, but the author is obviously informed very well on this subject and gave us just enough historical and political context to make sense of his core thesis.
The book isn’t too long or short, and was just about the perfect length and depth. This is probably the first smoking book that I can recommend to BOTH smokers and non smokers, as it should be interesting and maybe even enjoyable to anyone. On top of being well written and researched, and having an actual point to make, the author did an excellent job of not polarizing or ostracizing either side of the issue. It was very tasteful and that is very rare in this subject.
This book is over 30 years old, but to my knowledge nothing significant has changed in the addiction field, and I think this book remains completely relevant today - except that nicotine replacements have by now been proven to be much less effective than hoped for in this book.
At the very end the author gives some good advice about quitting, though I feel that Allen Carr’s “Easy Way To Quit Smoking” is a better overall method.