I am an ex-smoker. I smoked for about twenty-five years and was, strangely enough, blessed with a terrible misdiagnosis that made me quit cold turkey ten years ago. There was never a time when I didn’t know smoking was dangerous as hell. This is how ubiquitous the warnings were and are. But I unwisely chose to roll the dice and managed to live to write about it. I am lucky and I know it. Smoking is a bad thing. I get that. But I am becoming increasingly uncomfortable with at least some of the tactics used in anti-smoking campaigns.
I am an avid reader of the Washington Post. Each time I visit its home page I am greeted by an advertisement featuring a woman named Terrie. Terrie, you see, has been ravaged by her smoking. Her face is somewhat disfigured and she breathes through a surgical opening in her throat. A quote attributed to her is placed at the top of the ad,