Free Life 25, April 1996, “In Defense of Smokers”, Reviewed by Sean Gabb

From Free Life, Issue 25, May 1996
ISSN: 0260 5112

In Defense of Smokers
Lauren A. Colby
Self-published (available from

Smoking causes lung cancer. Everyone knows that. Don't they? Not Larry Colby. An American lawyer based in Frederick, Maryland, Mr Colby is the author of In Defense of Smokers! This book is self-published and was originally printed on an ad hoc basis in order to raise the public awareness of selected individuals to whom it was mailed out. The author has now decided – at the current writer's suggestion – to finance a proper print run, and I hope that, like many samizdat efforts, it doesn't end up blocking up his hall or garage, because it deserves to be widely read.

Author Colby has not only crammed a great deal of research into 44 or so foolscap pages, he has also brought a fine legal mind to bear on the issues. His interest in this subject owes less to his lifelong habit of smoking than to his own investigations into AIDS, which has surely generated more disinformation by vested interests than any other disease this century.

Mr Colby analyses world cancer and smoking statistics, the manipulation of statistics and the manipulation of information by those who feel they have a moral responsibility to lie to the public "in a good cause". He has studied the quackery of Richard Doll – who together with Sir Austin Bradford Hill was responsible for the original "Doctors' Study" – and Professor Doll's side-kick Dr Peto, both of whom come out of this with little credit. And he has studied the work of the late Professor Burch, whose 42 years in the Department of Radiology at Leeds led to his developing an entirely new theory of disease.

As stated, Mr Colby's study is written from a legal rather than a scientific perspective, and he finds the proof of the unique evil of the demon weed sadly wanting, a verdict which leaves him fuming mad. This is an easy to read study and a good starting point for those who want to hear the other side of the smoking = cancer debate. Another good starting point is to join FOREST, the smokers' rights organisation. FOREST can be contacted at 2 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1.

For those of you on the Internet, Larry Colby can be contacted at

Vincent Gilmore (Sean Gabb)

© 1996 – 2017, seangabb.

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