Another man tells him that women's smoking deaths have doubled.
It is for him.
“Finally,the focus is off is targeting kids!” he announces triumphantly.
The 2001 cartoon by Gary Markstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is one of 60 editorial cartoons in the National Museum of Health and Medicine exhibit “Cartoonists Take Up Smoking.”
The exhibit presented by Dr. Alan Blum,director of the University of Alabama Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society,follows the 40-year debate over the use and promotion of cigarettes since the 1964 Surgeon General's report on the negative health effects of smoking.
“It's best to let cartoonists do the talking because humor motivates people better than finger wagging,” Blum said.
The cartoons target a variety of actors in the smoking debate,including politicians and tobacco farmers,and issues such as taxation,indoor air laws,warning labels,lawsuits and settlements.
The exhibit's cartoons,most of them originals and some signed by the artists,are devoted to the tobacco industry's targeting of women and minorities,as well as its sponsorship of athletic events and the popularity of chewing tobacco among athletes.
Even though the museum is tucked away in one of the many buildings on the Walter Reed Memorial Hospital campus,the exhibit has been popular,especially with the many students who come on class trips,said Jennifer Heilman,public affairs specialist with the museum.
The exhibit has traveled to several other U.S. cities and will be shown next in Lincoln,Neb.,after the exhibit closes here April 1. The museum is free and open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
In addition to the cartoons,the exhibit features newspaper clippings,advertisements and artifacts from the collection Blum began as a young boy.
Now,he has 2,500 boxes of archived material,including more than 1,000 videotapes of commercials,documentaries and debates over smoking,and 1,500 books. As far as he knows,he has largest collection of tobacco-related materials,Blum said.
“There's so many details to the story of smoking that people have forgotten about,” Blum said.
As proof,Blum mentioned a photo of Patty Young tucked in a corner of the exhibit. As a flight attendant,Young,then 26,started a battle against smoking on airlines in the 1960s. Her photo is accompanied by ads depicting smoking on airlines as a way to glamorize flying and a cartoon drawn by Wayne Stayskal of the Tampa Tribune in 1984 that shows non-smoking passengers surrounded by clouds of smoke. One of them says,”Look on the bright side … maybe there will be an emergency and the oxygen bags will drop down.”
Young suffered chronic bronchitis and constant headaches that she attributed to second-hand smoke. Her battle led Congress to pass a law against smoking on domestic flights in the 1980s,which was later extended to international flights to and from the U.S.
“It's hard to believe how hard the tobacco industry and even airlines fought against the ban,” Blum said. “Above all,the editorial cartoons have shown the most addicting thing about tobacco is money.”
The museum added artifacts from its collection to the exhibit. One glass case holds three human lungs. One large,healthy looking lung from a non-smoker lies next to two shriveled,blackened lungs from smokers.
The museum also created a place for visitors to carry on the spirit of the exhibit by drawing their own cartoons. Younger visitors on class trips or with their families penciled most of them.
One shows a man in an ashtray being stomped out by a large cigarette. The caption reads,”Put it out before it puts you out.”
Another,signed by Rebecca,9,says simply,”Smoking is not cool.”