Will the Pro-Life Pope Speak Out Against --- Smoking Cigarettes?

While in the US I hope this strict Pope will speak out for the 485,000 victims who die prematurely each year of diseases caused by smoking cigarettes.

I know however that they chances of this happening are slim and none. (Not Virginia Slims...)

Here is what one public health professional has recently written on the subject:
Some twenty years ago, while preparing a book on the history of the cigarette in America (A Smoking Gun: How the Tobacco Industry Gets Away With Murder, Stickley, 1984), I wrote to the Cardinal of New York and asked him why the Church had no pronouncements on cigarettes, the leading cause of premature death -- a clear threat to the value of life. The letter I received back was scathing, calling me stupid and naive, arguing that I had obviously not traveled outside the U.S. much and seen poverty and hunger -- otherwise, I would not be worrying about something as trivial as cigarette smoking.

As a public health professional, I do not consider 485,000 premature deaths annually in the United States to be "trivial." And I am outraged to see the ongoing marketing of cigarettes here in our country. But the recently-announced move by Philip Morris to addict hundreds of millions more people in Africa, China, Korea, Russia, and beyond is nothing short of appalling. As this international massacre continues -- indeed, intensifies -- is silence by the Church compatible with a pro-life commitment, or is it just sheer hypocrisy?

Dr. Elizabeth M. Whelan is president of the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH.org, HealthFactsAndFears.com).

Here is a cigarette ad from the Phillipines:
"Philippines: Pray for health In the Philippines, with a large and devout Catholic population, various wall calendars tout popular tobacco brands. This one is from the Fortune Tobacco Company."


John D. Enright said...

My goodness, miracles apparently do happen! This is a post with which I agree. You might like to read this article: Tobacco-free zone? Pope urged to stomp out butts in Vatican City. It is from the Catholic News Service.

Tzvee Zahavy said...