The interesting thing is that this reminds me of the constant hectoring about quitting smoking on the comic strip Curtis. The protagonist can't seem to get that when his dad talks about there's a stress in his life that can only be calmed by a pack of menthols, what would make Greg quit for good is if Curtis turned into the grinning drone who always agreed with authority figures and never bothered questioning what anyone older than he was said that Billingsley holds out as an ideal of childhood. In both cases, we're dealing with a child who should gleefully cast himself into a furnace if an adult told him to who needs to accept that he owes the stupid blind obedience.
Ah. well. At least the humorless granite block of moral absolutism calling himself Ray Billingsley has the courage of his grim, anti-human convictions. When he says that Greg is a fool, Curtis an annoyance and smoking as much a device of Satan as his main character, he means it. He's not like Lynn who only objects to cigarettes because she hates the smell. If she liked it, the Pattersons would be accompanied by their own personal smog cloud.