He Was Easily Caught: Talk about a smoking gun

Some people think or claim that I exaggerate in what I say about smokers, or accuse all smokers of being guilty by asphyxiation . . . I mean, association.  But that doesn’t mean things that appear in the news aren’t true.  It’s not proven that smoking directly makes people violent, but its addictive effects change the brain and negative changes to people’s personalities can’t be ignored.

From the US, January 2022:

Man upset over smoking fee shoots up Idaho motel with assault-style rifle

A man upset with being charged a $150 fee for smoking in his motel room fired multiple rounds from an assault-style rifle into the building before driving away, authorities in eastern Idaho said.

The shooting occurred Friday morning at the Motel 6 in Rexburg, Idaho, and no one was injured, Rexburg Police Assistant Chief Gary Hagen said.

Hagen said the man was taken into custody later that day in Alpine, Wyoming. His name hasn’t been released. Police said he was traveling with a female companion.

The mind boggles at the willingness of some to perpetrate violence because they don’t get their way (re: the rise in violence at prisons after smoking bans).  The willingness of a few to be violent doesn’t justify giving smokers their way.  Rather, it justfies more smoking bans, or actions like Denmark making it illegal for anyone born after 2010 to smoke and raising the prices to US$9 per pack.  Denmark’s goal is a smoke-free generation by 2030. , justified by a 2018 Nordic study linking aggressive behaviour in childhood and adolescence with maternal smoking during pregnancy. More below.

I hadn’t looked in a while, but many news stories about violence and sense of entitlement by smokers have popped up since last May’s World No Tobacco Day.  I was expecting five to ten articles, not fifty to a hundred.  This isn’t even a complete list, I didn’t have time to link them all.

UK, February 2021: Cops stop an “illegal gathering” (a party), man burns cop with a cigarette

UK, February 2021: Two male teens ask man for a cigarette, assault him when he refuses

Australia, February 2021: Two teen males beat up an elderly man for his cigarettes

Ireland, March 2021: Prison inmate headbutts a guard after being told not to smoke

Singapore, April 2021: 19 year old male sentenced for stabbing man who refused to buy cigarettes

Canada, April 2021: Man throws lit cigarette into a baby stroller, burns ten month old child

China, April 2021: Smoker throws hot soup on a woman who asked him not to smoke in a restaurant

UK, May 2021: Litter warden assaulted by two men after fining a woman who threw cigarettes on the ground

US, June 2021: California man assaults woman he asked for a cigarette because she did not have one

UK, July 2021: Abusive man beats live-in partner burns her with cigarettes

US, July 2021: Teenage lifeguard stabbed by men after asking them not to smoke in a park

Cyprus, August, 2021: Man assaults airline staff member who asked he not smoke in the airport

Scotland, August 2021: Ex-convict (manslaughter) threatens to murder domestic partner after she asks him to smoke outside

US, August 2021: Store clerk assaulted by couple trying to steal cigarettes

US, September 2021: Smoker threatens and spits on another man and his daughter who asked him not to smoke on a train

UK, September 2021: Man burns and beats woman, his pregnant live-in partner

Singapore, September 2021: Two women tell enforcement officer “talk to rich people nicely” after warning not to smoke in a non-smoking area

India, October 2021: Three men attack another who refused to buy cigarettes for them

US, October 2021: Deli store clerk stabbed to death after refusing to give cigarettes to man with insufficient money

UK, October 2021: 35 year old man and 14 year old boy charged with more than 20 breakins to steal cigarettes

UK, October 2021: Man hits and runs 13 year old boy who was legally crossing the street, then throws cigarette at and burns the boy

UK, October 2021: Two men violently assault another man who asked them not to smoke on a train

UK, November 2021: A group of teens attack store owner during attempted theft of “e-cigarettes”

India, November 2021: Man violently attacks his 14 year old daughter after she refuses to buy cigarettes for him, her injuries include vision loss in one eye

US, December 2021: Delaware couple arrested for multiple cigarette thefts, armed robbery of cigarettes

US (Guam), December 2021: Man arrested after intentionally burning woman’s face with a cigarette

US, January 2022: Washington state man shoots at gas station after clerk refuses to sell him cigarettes

UK, January 2022: Two women violently assaulted, one suffers broken leg, after telling three she does not possess cigarettes

Japan, January 2022: 28 year old man assaulted a 17 year old who asked him not to smoke on a train

Canada, January 2022: 20 year old smoker pulled out a knife and threatened a man who asked him to stop inside a non-smoking bus terminal

India, February 2022: A man refused to reopen his closed store to sell cigarettes; buyer returns with a group and attacks three family members, one of them was murdered

India, February 2022: A man violently assaulted a woman and left her bleeding after she asked him not to smoke in a communal vehicle

Canada, February 2022: Man asks woman for a cigarette, punches her in the face after saying she doesn’t smoke

UK: February 2022: Woman stabs mother to death after being told she “stinks of cigarettes”

UK, February 2022: Smoker assaults man who asked for help lighting his cigarette

UK, February 2022: Man murders girlfriend 30 minutes after the two buy cigarettes and a pregnancy test kit; she was not pregnant

UK, February 2022: Smoker asks two men for a cigarette, violently assaults them after saying they don’t have any

US, February 2022: Man on New York subway asks a smoker to stop, smoker stabs him in the arm

US, February 2022: Man perpetrates Intimate Partner Violence, burns girlfriend with cigarettes

US, February 2022: High school student assaults school bus driver who told him not to smoke

New Zealand, February 2022: Woman stabs husband with boning knife because she wants a cigarette

India, February 2022: Man stabs father to death because he refused to give son a cigarette

India, February 2022: Two men argue while smoking, one stabs the other

China, March 2022: An Air China employee harassed, assaulted, threatened and fired for refusing to take part in a cigarette smuggling scheme by employees

US, March 2022: Two 12 year olds suffocate and burn a third teen with cigarettes, shave her head

UK, March 2022: Former soccer player assaults Tesco employee and causes thousands in damages to the store because she refused to sell him cigarettes

US, yesterday March 19, 2022: Man threatens store clerk with a knife, demands a cigar, steals cigarettes

It has already been shown there was an increase of Intimate Partner Violence around the world during the pandemic.  What effect with quarantines (boredom potentially increasing tobacco use), scarcity and withdrawal from cigarettes due to supply chain issues (already happened in South Africa), “cabin fever”, among other problems?

Increases in Intimate Partner Violence During COVID-19: Prevalence and Correlates


Measures to contain the global COVID-19 pandemic led to stay-at-home orders across the world, accompanied by fears of a global surge in intimate partner violence (IPV). We administered an online general-population survey to 1169 women and transgender/nonbinary individuals throughout the state of Michigan in June-August 2020 to assess changes in the prevalence, severity, and correlates of IPV during the COVID-19 pandemic. Quota sampling was used to match the racial/ethnic and urban/rural distribution of the state. More than one in seven (15.1%) participants reported physical, sexual, psychological, or technology-facilitated IPV since COVID, similar to the prevalence in the 3 months before COVID (16.2%). However, there were indications that IPV severity increased and that novel cases of IPV are occurring in relationships that previously had no abuse.

Emphasis is mine.

Don’t forget that LGBTQIA people are disproportionally more likely to smoke because of tobacco companies targeting them (see: Project SCUM).


  1. Rob Grigjanis says

    Denmark…raising the prices to US$9 per pack.

    Huh. It’s been about US$15 per pack of 25 in Ontario for a while now.

    • says

      It’s $40 in Australia (US$30).

      Unfortunately that crap is dirt cheap here, NT$100 (US$3.50), so there’s no incentive to quit. They throw butts down storm drains by the million, and they all end up in the ocean where animals are poisoned. Selfish idiots.

    • jrkrideau says

      I suspect it is not so much tobacco as a drug as much as tobacco as a signifier of anti-social tendencies as tobacco becomes less and less acceptable though it is a very addictive drug.

      I have a number of drug addict friends. They smoke cigarettes.

      @ ROB

      I, sometimes, pick up cigarettes for a neighbour and it’s CDN$19 & change for her brand. Also in Ontario

  2. zeriel says

    As an incredibly infrequent pipe smoker (I might go through six ounces of tobacco a YEAR), I feel the same way about this as I do about alcohol as a 0-or-1-drinks-per-night person.

    Mainly, “why do so many humans seem to be so bad at enjoying things in moderation?”

    I’ve been addicted to caffeine, back in college. Quitting THAT was painful enough that I never let myself get within shouting distance of addiction to any other chemical vice.