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Books, Journals, New Media
July 13, 2005

Smoking History

Author Affiliations

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; Journal Review Editor: Brenda L. Seago, MLS, MA, Medical College of Virginia Campus, Virginia Commonwealth University.

JAMA. 2005;294(2):255-256. doi:10.1001/jama.294.2.255

This is a disturbing book. Physically it is beautiful, with more than 100 full-color illustrations of smoking paraphernalia, tobacco ads, and people from all around the world smoking in diverse ways. Many of the essays, however, are slipshod, blinkered, or compromised by myriad omissions. The book reads like an apology for smoking, which the authors glorify as a universal human need: “human beings have always smoked, and they probably always will.” Smoking enthusiasts and tobacco manufacturers will find it delightful.