Smoking bans have triumphed from Boston to Bhutan

A.S. Hamrah in The Boston Globe:

No_smoking_signDoes the apparent triumph of smoking bans from Boston to Bhutan — not to mention the ruinous cigarette taxes that have sent smokers to websites instructing them on how to buy cigarettes from out-of-state sources using untraceable money orders — prove that if the 20th century was a century of smoking, the 21st will end up smokeless? Will smoking become the bad habit of a few criminalized holdouts, or will this brand of prohibition re-glamorize a vice once seen as sophisticated and cool?

Inevitably, another public-health report will let us know. Until then, two recent books that investigate smoking and its place in society — one via photography, the other through the lens of cultural studies — show that for all the efforts of the anti-smoking movement, smoking has a hold on American culture that’s stronger than addiction and deeper than the pocketbook.

More here.