Still Smoking After All These Years

Today’s New York Times ran a story by reporter Lizette Alvarez on “The Holdouts” – professionals who, in defiance of increasingly menacing health warnings, spend their breaks dashing to an elevator, descending to the concrete canyon below, trudging to an area that meets the minimum requirement of being at least 25 feet from the skyscraper where they work, however inclement the weather, in...
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An Open Letter to Michelle Obama

Dear Michelle Obama, A New York Times article published on July 8 highlighted our national failure to reach “Healthy People 2010” goal of reducing high school smoking to 16%. The decline in smoking rates among high school students from 34.8% in 1995 to 21.9% in 2003 had led to earlier optimism that this trajectory would continue, but recently progress has stalled, with high school cigarette...
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“Torches of Liberty”

My diatribes about tobacco advertising often focus on its role in promoting nicotine’s weight-suppressing effects (and probably in encouraging our strong preference for slimness as well).  Like all successful seducers, however, the tobacco industry has more than one arrow in its quiver.  In this post I’d like to talk about smoking as a symbol of women’s rights and the way in which the...
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Start Smoking to Lose Weight? Not on Your Life!

Yep, that’s me, age 18 or so, working hard to become a smoker.  (And in case you were wondering: No, that’s not my husband; this photo was taken long before I met him.) I was luckier than the smokers we studied in the Nicotine Research Laboratory in that I never succeeded in learning to inhale.  So I never took in enough nicotine to become addicted, and eventually I decided that...
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