Oncologist James Martin ‘Builds Bridges’ to Smokers, Calls on Surgeon General to End Smokophobia

By John Zmirak Published on September 3, 2017

Washington D.C., September 3 — The office of the Surgeon General is again the center of controversy. As are other tradition-bound ramparts of the medical establishment. Their critics? Activists of the Pipe/Snuff/Cigar/Cigarette/Hookah Using (PSCCHU) rights movement. These PSCCHU Americans have long complained of the bias and discrimination they suffer. The culprits? Those who cling to establishment medical biases against tobacco users. Millions of PSCCHU Americans, leaders say, get stigmatized, segregated and excluded. Some are even charged discriminatory rates by insurance companies.

Why? Because of the decades-old stereotype promoted by establishment medicine. It suggests that PSCCHU Americans are somehow “sick,” or “more likely” to get sick. “The authorities of medical officialdom have stigmatized our lifestyle,” said Billy Bob McCormack. A taxidermist in Lumberport, WV, he is president of the Snuff Dippers Pride Coalition. “They pretend that it’s a death sentence. They warn us with scare stories. All based on their own unexamined prejudices,” he said.Stream Satire Logo - 360

“We are herded outside in bitter cold weather,” said Lucille DiGuilio. She’s an Astoria, Queens-based manicurist and open cigarette smoker. “That’s what endangers our health. Not our personal choice to consume a natural, organic product from the Native American tradition.” She spoke of painful experiences at the hands of smokophobes. “I’ve been asked to leave weddings, yoga classes, even family dinners at restaurants. Just for being who I am: an open, public smoker. People act as if I were a cancer cell or something. All because of what I choose to do with my own body.”

The New Face of Civil Rights in America

Calls by PSCCHU-rights activists to end segregation, discrimination, and bias against tobacco users are getting louder. They have rocked the citadels of traditional medical opinion. Protests, letter-writing campaigns, and boycott threats have forced these hidebound institutions to reconsider the costs/benefits of smoking. Progress won’t come easy, however. A decades-old diktat by the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office still stands. It  accuses tobacco users of willfully injuring their own health. Even endangering that of others.

It’s unclear, however, how long such a smoking ban can stand in the face of human rights agitation by well-organized PSCCHU freedom advocates. “We’re confident that progressive oncologists can move the Surgeon General’s office to see through its historic biases on this issue.” So said retired whalebone carver and lifelong pipe-smoker Dan Horan, of Gloucester, Massachusetts. “It’s just a matter of raising consciousness.”

“Parents need to accept, welcome, and embrace their smoker child — not scare him or shame him with stories of hellfire or chemotherapy.”

Medical colleges and hospitals nationwide have reexamined their policies on whether tobacco use is healthy. In response to charges of smokophobia, the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Oklahoma have passed wide-ranging civil rights laws. “Thanks to enlightened lawmakers, I no longer have to live in the shadows while at work,” said heart surgeon Ignace Gauthreaux, of Labadieville, Louisiana. He is an “out and proud” cigar smoker. “Every time I look at that little ashtray we welded to the operating table, I am grateful to be an American.”

A Ban on Cruel “Therapies” Aimed at “Changing” Smokers

Some ten states are considering laws drawn up by PSCCHU-rights groups. These would prevent doctors from repeating the “official story” that tobacco use is harmful. Other bills would ban the use of cruel and archaic “quitting treatments” such as patches, gum, or hypnosis. These allegedly “help” tobacco users to become non-users.

A decades-old diktat by the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office still stands. It accuses tobacco users of willfully injuring their own health. Even endangering that of others. It is unclear, however, for how long such a smoking ban can stand in the face of human rights agitation by well-organized PSCCHU freedom advocates.

Activists point to the need for more extensive efforts. They note the plight of young people who have discovered that they are smokers. They face cruel pressure from parents, schools, and classmates that disapprove of their smoking identity. “As early as eight or nine, most of us knew that we were smokers,” said hookah advocate Abshir Abdikarím, of Lewiston, Maine. “And parents need to accept, welcome, and embrace their smoker child — not scare him or shame him with stories of hellfire or chemotherapy,” he said.   

Building Bridges

Now leading oncologist Dr. James Martin, of Walter Reed Hospital, has emerged as a prominent champion of PSCCHU Americans. “For too long, we have let medical authorities dictate to us. They try to control the health and choices of millions of ordinary people.” So he wrote in his groundbreaking new book: Building a Bridge: How the Medical Establishment and the PSCCHU Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity.”

Dr. Martin has been using his bully pulpit as a leading oncologist at Walter Read. His goal? To dismantle stereotypes that afflict tobacco-using Americans. “They label people as ‘cancer patients,’ or ‘emphysema victims,’ or ‘tongue amputees,’ instead respecting of them as persons,” Martin said. “And that is dehumanizing. It is wrong. It is time for the medical community to repent. For the Surgeon General to reexamine its outdated policy stigmatizing PSSCHU Americans as somehow ‘unhealthy’ or ‘self-destructive.’ Let the healing begin.”


Editor’s Note: This is satire.

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  • The Stream really stepped in it NOW.

    • Patmos

      Hey look someone from the left is offended, and unable to put together a coherent or relevant thought or statement, being overcome with emotion. So it’s pretty much like any other normal day.

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    Right. To quote the founder of the famed Walter Read Hospital ,1893 Wisden Cricketer of the year Walter Read ; ” I always lobs below the waist whenever I lobs at all”. Seems that fatherly Mr Martin has forgotten or is ignorant of that simple declaration uttered during a most difficult & personal season of Mr Reads career. History records that at the time only those deemed uncouth, unfeeling & uninspired amateurs of the sport of cricket resorted to the ungainly & socially unacceptable practice of lobbing the ball. Real cricketeers would never resort to such low ball “below the waist” tactics was the sentiment of the day. Yet, in the midst of unprecedented unrest & civil rivalry, Mr Read stood firm upon his convictions.
    So much so that he published the since forgotten ” Wisden Statement”. In it a short list of tenants harkening back to the earliest advocates of the sport, reawakened the consciousness of a nation. Cricketeers as far & as wide as the sunset itself were divided amongst themselves. These tenants will be the destruction of all that is deemed “cricket”, was the response by those relatively new to this national sport. Happily the stalwart players of that storied sport were reinvigorated by Mr Reads bold yet fundamental precepts. Yes, cricket was saved by the actions initiated by those faithful to the origins of the game.” I call upon cricketeers of conscious to return this noble game back to its sacred roots” were the last words our hero uttered as the opposition sought to silence this unpopular sentiment in the name of “free speech”.
    Perhaps this “James Martin” needs to revisit the foundation upon which he erects his “tenants”. Otherwise, there will be some who while calling themselves wise yet being fools will continue to lead many astray having forgotten the rules of the game …

  • If only this were true! America seemed like a much more copacetic place when people weren’t obsessed with living forever.

  • Fr. RP

    Finally! Fr. Martin is stepping up to the plate and defending people like me who enjoy a good cigar every now and then (and many cheep ones to fill the gaps between the good ones).

  • Mooshnik

    Very well done Mr Zmirack…well done indeed! This from someone who enjoys a golfing stogie now and then but understands the risk.

  • hockeyCEO

    Good one!

  • tz1

    Redefines “A bridge to nowhere”. Or one on the road to hell.

    Another problem with bridges is that it allows traffic in both directions. Missionaries, “Apostles” (see the greek) go Outward to save. A bridge lets the pagans, heretics, and barbarians in.

  • Charles Burge

    Well done, my good sir.

  • Mary White

    Thank you so much for this article….I was a non smoker for 33 years of my life and CHOSE to pursue smoking cigarettes because I like my brain but couldn’t take pill narcotics for chronic pain nor did antidepressants work well for stress or anxiety. Cigarettes help me get through daily life and stresses that the pill companies will never understand, same goes for the medical community. I’ve never touched drugs and don’t drink…two things worse than a cigarette could ever be. Thanks again!!

  • David Quelle

    Any of you tobacco users every seen someone die from COPD. It’s one of the most tortuous deaths I have ever personally witnessed and I’ve seen many (I’m a critical care nurse). I’m all for individual freedoms but lifestyle chooses not only help to dictate length of life but quality of life. If you truly believe that your quality of life will not be affected try breathing through a straw for an hour because that is exactly how COPD has been described to me by more than one person I’ve cared for. The campaign against smoking has saved many from that fate.

  • maryparks

    Of all the stupid, not-applicable analogies I’ve ever heard…this takes the cake.

    • coches ags

      Can you at least ellaborate?

      • maryparks

        Out of every analogy that I’ve ever heard someone use…this one is the stupidest. It is not analogous.

        • Shaquille Harvey

          So no real argument then ?!

      • Ken Abbott

        Evidently not.

  • Tim H

    Zmirak, your satire is awesome. I’ve loved it for years! Keep it up my good man!

  • teo

    I call for a Smokers Pride Parade.

  • Deplorable S E Delenda


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