Thursday, August 28, 2003

Making a list of people smarter than me would be the work of a lifetime, and Marylaine Block would definitely be on it. She says:

Like so many others, my mother chose to smoke, a decision that shortened a beautiful life. She always agreed that it was her personal decision. Nobody made her do it, and she enjoyed it right up to the moment when she went to the hospital where she died. But she began smoking when the ads told her that smoking was a good and healthy way to lose weight. She continued smoking even after the first surgeon general's report, because the cigarette companies insisted their research showed no cause and effect relationship between smoking and lung cancer and heart disease. She admitted it was an addiction that she couldn't give up, though my father (who later died of lung cancer) successfully gave up the habit -- twenty times, in fact. Neither of them lived to learn that tobacco companies cooked the books on the research, hiding what they knew, and actually spiked the nicotine content to make cigarettes more addictive. I think they would have felt they'd been had, and that smoking had not been entirely their personal choice after all.


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