Science Looks at Smoking (1957)
by Eric Northrup
Science Looks at Smoking is such a cheery, breezy dismissal of the dangers of smoking that it could easily have been ghost-written by a tobacco baron.
Here's the final paragraph from the Forward, by Dr. Harry S. N. Greene, Chairman, Department of Pathology, Yale University:
Wonder whether he's still alive and, if not, what he died of...
The evidence from both approaches, statistical and experimental, does not appear sufficiently significant to me to warrent forsaking the pleasure of smoking. As a matter of fact, if the investigations had been pointed toward some material that I thoroughly dislike, such as parsnips, I still would not feel that evidence of the type presented constituted a reasonable excuse for eliminating the things from my diet. I will still continue to smoke, and if the tobacco companies cease manufacturing their product, I will revert to sweet fern and grape leaves.
Here's Northrup's own summation, the final sentences of the book:
Epicurus couldn't have said it better. But just the same, I'll bet he wouldn't have smoked.
Living, after all, is a series of calculated risks, not least of which is the risk of falling for medical statistics. To yield small pleasures without protest is a thoughtless waste. Life, at best, is a losing proposition. As Mark Twain put it, nobody ever came out of it alive.