Anti-Smoking Ads Disappear

No SmokingIf I were in a Broadway musical, I would break out singing:

Isn’t it bliss?
Could it be true?
Anti-smoking ads are gone
I can safely view.
Send in the Post,
I can read the Post![1]

For many weeks, you could not visit the Washington Post website (or a lot of others as well) without seeing a horrifying anti-smoking ad that involved a woman (Terrie Hall) who was missing at least half her jaw and had a hole in her windpipe. Now it is gone. And I am so glad.

Look: it isn’t like I’m against these ads. I have smokers in my life and I worry about them constantly. And these ads make me far more likely to talk to them, even though I find it hard to talk with them without ragging on them. But that’s why these ads are so disturbing. I don’t worry that my sister is greatly reducing her life expectancy. Life isn’t as great as we believe; death is not the worst thing. But going through these surgeries and having parts of your body removed? Suffering through radiation treatments? Living in pain or at least at diminished capacity? That’s terrible. And I hate to think of her like that.

So I understand the ads and I think they are a good thing. But I still hate seeing them. They creep me out and make me sad. I’m very grateful for the respite. And I’m enjoying it, even though I know how temporary it is. Meanwhile, my efforts to move my sister continue.


[1] That’s a not good at all parody of one of my favorite songs, “Send in the Clowns”:

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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