Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Sex, Lies, and Cigarettes" on Current TV

I've been recommending Allan Brandt's The Cigarette Century since it came out. It's a superb history of science on a hugely important topic. Although the bulk concerns the history of science - and industry interference with it - in the US, the later segments dealing with the successful push to market cigarettes in other countries are some of the most disturbing. While smoking rates fortunately continue to plummet in the US, the number of smokers, especially children, is exploding in poor countries. Many of these people don't know the risks, and hundreds of millions of them will die terrible, preventable deaths. The costs to health care systems are staggering.

I was happy to see that Current TV's Vanguard has done an episode, "Sex, Lies, and Cigarettes," on the marketing of cigarettes in Indonesia and the work of anti-tobacco activists to educate and protect children there.

For those who get Current TV, they seem to be showing the episode fairly regularly. It and the other Vanguard reports are very good.

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