Many falsehoods in article about smoking

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 6, 2004

Letter to the Editor:

I was almost floored by an article in the Suffolk Sun on July 18, 2004 by Tyra M. Vaughn. This article was on smoking and students’ efforts to prevent students from smoking, which I support. Stretching the truth is what upset me. Three-quarters of a page listed 54 bad things that cigarettes and chewing tobacco are supposed to do to you.

Examples of a few falsehoods are as follows: Girls are seven times likelier to grow face hair. Smoking can make you look old. Those who smoke are more likely to get lower grades?

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Smoking can make your hair fall out. Teens who smoke are more likely to catch a cold. (My 4-year-old granddaughter gets colds.) It takes 25 years for a cigarette butt to decompose. That there are more deaths from smoking than AIDS, car accidents, murders, suicide, drug overdoses and fires. The surgeon general says that obesity is equal to smoking in causing health problems and has declared obesity a medical problem. Medicare coverage is approved for this as a disease. Teenagers who smoke are in poor health and can’t sleep. Smoking is more common in people with less education. Presidents Roosevelt and President Eisenhower, Generals Patton and General McArthur, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill, I guess they fit that description.

These are just a few statements I feel are not completely true. I know it’s popular to jump on smokers but what about fat people and overeating? It’s also a health problem, yet we see nothing this extreme printed in any paper about this growing problem. My grandfather smoked until his death at 93 and his wife dipped snuff until she passed away at 92.

William H. Harward