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Harry Potter and the Pack of Marlboros

Harry Potter and the Pack of Marlboros

UK’s The Sun is “reporting” about how Daniel Ratcliffe is smoking “up to 20 cigarettes” a day and friends, such as co-star Rupert Grint, are “concerned”:

Every time they call ‘Cut’, he lights up. It’s disgusting.

“Friends and co-stars including Rupert Grint have been warning him about the dangers of smoking. But he doesn’t take any notice.”

Listen, we all know smoking is bad. It kills and costs money and stinks. And yes, Harry Potter should’t smoke. But how would anyone know he smoked if gossip columnists and, er, blogs, didn’t report on this crap and act like they are doing some sort of justice by denouncing the smoking while actually being the ones to publicize it in the first place?

This also annoyed me in regard to Patrick Swayze. All these articles showed pictures of him smoking and said that “1/3 of pancreatic cancer patients” are smokers. While, about 1/4 of people smoke, according to the CDC, so though there is higher numbers in smokers who get pancreatic cancer, its certainly not some insane percentage. What about the other 67% of people who don’t smoke and get pancreatic cancer? Patrick Swayze already has cancer. Do we really need to demonize his bad habit and essentially suggest he had it coming? The addiction of smoking is a more complicated and complex problem than most of these people tend to suggest.. it can be imbedded in our socialization or in our psychological needs. I’m not advocating smoking in the least, but do we do this when celebrities with high cholesterol or body fat have heart attacks? When Regis had his triple bypass, did they blame bacon and eggs? Or what about the pollution non-smokers breathe in every day that might just as easily lead to the many diseases and ailments seemingly automatically blamed on smoking.

They’ve already raised cigarette prices so high that poor families with helplessly addicted parents spend money on cartons of smokes instead of decent meals, and THEN refuse to raise it any more to give that tax to save the sick children of those parents. They make us (yes, us, if you havent already caught on), stand on the corner of the street like lepers, go out in -20 degree winters when youve been drinking at bar, or have random strangers come up to you and tell you “you are going to die from that.” Like we already didn’t know. Smoking is bad. I try and quit every other day. But its my choice. I also eat right and exercise but it seems like if you smoke all other healthy regimes are cancelled out entirely.

Maybe I’m way off here. But while I get why people want to use Swayze or Ratcliffe’s smoking as a “don’t do this” warning, I don’t think that the publicity is helping stop any smoking in Ratcliffe’s case, and in Swayze’s, it just seems sort of cruel considering the man is currently struggling with a possibly-deadly cancer. I hope that if for some horrible reason I get a life-threatening disease that COULD have been caused from my smoking, that someone doesn’t remind me of it. Because I already know. And I’m sure Swayze does too.

And, besides, I think The Sun missed out on the real juicy gossip of their article:

Producers fear the actor’s habit could ruin his schoolboy image – and have now warned him not to be seen puffing in public.

But that has not stopped Radcliffe from smoking “like a trooper”.

The source revealed: “He’s been having late nights out with stars like Kevin Spacey and Stephen Fry and seems to have picked up bad habits from the luvvie set.”

Read that last sentence again. Not to be vulgar (but hell, its St. Patrick’s Day), but maybe cigarettes ain’t all Harry Potter is smoking.

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