A Counterblaste to Tobacco

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A Counterblaste to Tobacco is a treatise written by King James VI of Scotland and I of England in 1604, in which he expresses his distaste for tobacco, particularly tobacco smoking. [1] As such, it is one of the earliest anti-tobacco publications.

A treatise is a formal and systematic written discourse on some subject, generally longer and treating it in greater depth than an essay, and more concerned with investigating or exposing the principles of the subject.

Monarchy of the United Kingdom Function and history of the British monarchy

The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom, its dependencies and its overseas territories. The current monarch and head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who ascended the throne in 1952.

James VI and I 16th/17th-century king of England and Scotland

James VI and I was King of Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the Scottish and English crowns on 24 March 1603 until his death in 1625. The kingdoms of Scotland and England were individual sovereign states, with their own parliaments, judiciaries, and laws, though both were ruled by James in personal union.

Contents

Style and content

It is written in Early Modern English and refers to medical theories of the time (e.g. the four humours). [2] In it, James blames Native Americans for bringing tobacco to Europe, complains about passive smoking, warns of dangers to the lungs, and decries tobacco's odour as "hatefull to the nose." [2]

Early Modern English, Early New English is the stage of the English language from the beginning of the Tudor period to the English Interregnum and Restoration, or from the transition from Middle English, in the late 15th century, to the transition to Modern English, in the mid-to-late 17th century.

Native Americans in the United States Indigenous peoples of the United States (except Hawaii)

Native Americans, also known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii. There are over 500 federally recognized tribes within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations. The term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaska Natives, while Native Americans are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. Native Hawaiians are not counted as Native Americans by the US Census, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander".

Passive smoking inhalation of smoke by persons other than the intended active smoker

Passive smoking is the inhalation of smoke, called second-hand smoke (SHS), or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), by persons other than the intended "active" smoker. It occurs when tobacco smoke permeates any environment, causing its inhalation by people within that environment. Exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke causes disease, disability, and death. The health risks of second-hand smoke are a matter of scientific consensus. These risks have been a major motivation for smoke-free laws in workplaces and indoor public places, including restaurants, bars and night clubs, as well as some open public spaces.

Effects and legacy

James's dislike of tobacco led him in 1604 [3] to authorize Thomas Sackville, 1st Earl of Dorset, to levy an excise tax and tariff of six shillings and eight pence per pound of tobacco imported, [4] or £1 per three pounds, a large sum of money for the time.

Thomas Sackville, 1st Earl of Dorset 16th/17th-century English politician and poet

Thomas Sackville, 1st Earl of Dorset was an English statesman, poet, and dramatist. He was the son of Richard Sackville, a cousin to Anne Boleyn. He was a Member of Parliament and Lord High Treasurer.

A tariff is a tax on imports or exports between sovereign states. It is a form of regulation of foreign trade and a policy that taxes foreign products to encourage or period domestic industry. The tariff is historically used to protect infant industries and to allow import substitution industrialization.

Shilling unit of currency formerly used in the United Kingdom, Australia, United States, and other British Commonwealth countries

The shilling is a unit of currency formerly used in Austria, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, United States and other British Commonwealth countries. Currently the shilling is used as a currency in four east African countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Somalia. It is also the proposed currency that the east African community plans to introduce . The word shilling comes from old English "Scilling", a monetary term meaning twentieth of a pound, and from the Proto-Germanic root skiljaną meaning 'to separate, split, divide.' The word "Scilling" is mentioned in the earliest recorded Germanic law codes, those of Æthelberht of Kent.

Because of continued high demand for tobacco in England and negative effects on the economies of the American colonies, the king in 1624 instead created a royal monopoly for the crop. [3] 150 years later, British utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham would cite A Counterblaste to Tobacco as an example of antipathy run wild. [2]

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Utilitarianism is a family of consequentialist ethical theories. Although different varieties of utilitarianism admit different characterizations, the basic idea behind all of them is to in some sense maximize utility, which is often defined in terms of well-being or related concepts. For instance, Jeremy Bentham, the founder of utilitarianism, described utility as

Philosophy intellectual and/or logical study of general and fundamental problems

Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras. Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers also pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust? Do humans have free will?

Quotation

Have you not reason then to bee ashamed, and to forbeare this filthie noveltie, so basely grounded, so foolishly received and so grossely mistaken in the right use thereof? In your abuse thereof sinning against God, harming your selves both in persons and goods, and raking also thereby the markes and notes of vanitie upon you: by the custome thereof making your selves to be wondered at by all forraine civil Nations, and by all strangers that come among you, to be scorned and contemned. A custome lothsome to the eye, hatefull to the Nose, harmefull to the braine, dangerous to the Lungs, and in the blacke stinking fume thereof, neerest resembling the horrible Stigian smoke of the pit that is bottomelesse.

James 1604 [2]

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References

  1. Steve Luck, The Complete Guide to Cigars: An Illustrated Guide to the World's Finest Cigars, Bath, UK: Parragon, p. 13
  2. 1 2 3 4 A Counterblaste to Tobacco (retrieved February 22, 2008)
  3. 1 2 Ley, Willy (December 1965). "The Healthfull Aromatick Herbe". For Your Information. Galaxy Science Fiction. pp. 88–98.
  4. Commissio pro Tobacco, James I, 1616