While millions of Americans pop a daily Prozac to dissociate themselves from the ever-disappointing trial that we call reality, I have something different. It’s a magical little stick that you can bring anywhere, which, the moment you snip its head and torch its foot, will make you happier. Few things please me more than my demure, dainty, dignified lover, the cigar.

But I’ve read the reports: cigars pose a much greater health risk than their smokeless counterparts, dip, snuff, chew and Swedish snus. Britain’s Royal College of Physicians has found that smokeless tobacco is 10 to 1,000 times less dangerous than cigars and cigarettes. Furthermore, doctors Brad Rodu and Philip Cole of the American Council on Science and Health have found that smokeless tobacco is 98 percent safer than smoking. I, like most of my hominan brethren, awake each morning fearing the day when that “sure extinction that we travel to/ and shall be lost in always” draws me again home. So, I decided to take a walk to College Convenience to investigate these smokeless tobacco options that promise to increase my longevity on this earth.

I was horrified to read upon the friendly can of Copenhagen dip the words “not a safe alternative to cigarettes.” Sure, a lucky lipper of mint Skoal is no glass of orange juice, but it is certainly safer than chain-smoking a pack of unfiltered Newports. Why was this label deceiving me so?

My friend Ted King provides an entertaining account of similarly deceptive methods in the anti-smoking campaign in his book, “The War On Smokers and the Rise of the Nanny State.” The anti-smoking movement has done a fine job of decreasing the prevalence of our nasty habit, but its fascistic insistence upon the total vilification of the leaf that built America has begun to undermine its ultimate goal of persuading the 46 million smokers in the United States to lead healthier lives. In the words of Oscar Wilde, it appears “the [T]ruth is rarely pure and never simple.”

Review: Perdomo Grand Cru Corojo

Strength: Medium-Full

Shape: Robusto

Cost: ~$7

Made entirely of Nicaraguan tobacco from the 2004 crop, the Grand Cru may have superceded the Oliva V Robusto in my estimation as the best bang for your buck. With hints of nut to complement its full and complex flavor, it burns perfectly and fills the room with clouds of thick, luscious ether. A far more pleasant experience than a lower lip of Skoal, the Grand Cru is well worth its smoky health hazards. A-