For some unknown reason, the June 15, 2012 issue of the Globe and Mail contained way more than the average number of pictures of gratuitous smoking/cigarette advertising.

On pages L1 and L3, there are two virtually identical pictures (taken by one of his sons, while the article is written by his other son) of retired high school phys ed teacher Wojtek Bielski (WB) smoking! (The article, without these pictures, is here.) Same bathrobe, same chair, same table and, presumably, the same cigarette.  The only difference is the pose...and the captions:  The first one reads, "[WB] used to be anti-texting.  Now, he's 'having fun.'", while the second one says, "[WB] finds texting less intrusive than phoning."  Perhaps one day, if/when Wojtek realizes how "intrusive" smoking is (not only to his lungs, heart, etc., but to everybody else's too), he will become "anti-smoking."  Anyway, the article (which does not provide WB's age) -- the two parts, combined, represent almost half a page! -- is nothing more than a bunch of drivel about a computer/techologically illiterate Neanderthal who suddenly enters the 21st century when, as his son the wannabe journalist says, "My dad sent his first text on April 10, 2012, at 7:23 p.m.  It shook me to the core."  And it goes downhill from there!  Next time the G&M has half a page to spare, perhaps they could give it to Airspace!
 
Speaking of half a page...   Then, on page R3, there's a half-page movie review of "The Woman in the Fifth", not to be confused with "The Woman in the Filth", even though one of the lead actors (Kristen Scott Thomas) is shown smoking in the picture, which occupies about half of the article.  The headline says, "What you see is not what you get."  Very appropriate, given the fact that "what you see" is a (supposedly) sexy, glamourous, happy, confident, successful woman -- with "seductive charms and her sophisticated mien" -- smoking, while "what you get" (and, hopefully, 'what she gets' too) is the complete opposite:  Gross, ugly, disgusting lung cancer, heart disease, etc.  I can only guess that there's no discussion about smoking in the movie; Ethan Hawke looks too in love/lust with the nicoholic to say, "Put that cigarette out...and give me a call a few months after you've quit smoking."
 
And finally, as is quite common in the G&M and a few other papers, there's a full page obituary for Henry Hill, the principal character of the film Goodfellas.  He was a gangster-turned-FBI informant.  And, while he had spent much of his life in hiding (first from the FBI, then from his old criminal 'colleagues'), he eventually began to lead a more public life.  He survived the very dangerous criminal life, being an informant (probably with lots of threats to -- and/or attempts on -- his/his families safety/lives), severe alcoholism and drug abuse ("I've been on every drug humanly possible, and I can't get a handle on alcohol").  He survived all of that, but little ol' tobacco got him ("Hill had open heart surgery last year and died of complications from long-time heart problems related to smoking," his long-time girlfriend said), at the ripe old age of 69. If you've seen Goodfellas, you should recall a scene where he's discussing turning informant with FBI agents, and smoking away while discussing his need to live in a warm climate "because of his health". Yeah, right.
 
On a slightly different note...
 
With all due respect to all victims of Indian Residential Schools, every time I come across an article about the "Truth and Reconciliation Commission", I find myself wondering if/when there will ever be a Truth and Reconciliation Commission regarding Big Tobacco.

Errol Povah
 

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