Promoting Smoking ?

February 25, 2008

Dr. Pauling Chang of Palo Alto takes great exception to our use of a cigar as a prop in the March Breaking 100, 90, 80 section. It's hard to argue with him:

A few issues ago, you had a profile of the actor Jack Wagner, and the picture in the article was of him standing on his roof, swinging a golf club, with a cigar in his mouth. In the current March 2008 issue, one of the drills in the article for "Breaking 100" shows a golfer with a cigar in his mouth, and the cigar plays an important role in improving your swing.

Shame on you people for repetitive promotion of an activity that is dangerous to our health. Smoking has been shown to directly increase the risk of many cancers, including those of the mouth, throat, lung, esophagus, stomach, and bladder, just to name a few. In addition, smoking directly increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, which are the number 1 and number 2 killers of people in this country.

The cost of health care in this country is rising at a dramatic rate, and it is possible this country will not be able to afford to provide the state of the art health care which we all deserve. If everyone in this country took better care of themselves, which includes not smoking and fitness to avoid obesity, we would all be better off.

Shame on your magazine for promoting unhealthy activity. Golf is a wonderful sport which I highly enjoy and can be very healthy too. Healthy if we avoid smoking and golf carts. Promote this instead.

My subscription to your magazine was a gift, if it were not I would ask you to cancel my subscription. With our knowledge of fitness and the dangers of smoking in the 21st century, I can not believe that you people still promote smoking. I wonder if the tobacco industry has any influence on you people.>

Thanks, doctor. You're right; we could have made the same point with anothe prop.

--Bob Carney