To the editor,
I cannot even begin to describe to you the level of horror and revulsion I felt upon seeing the full-page ad you ran in The Coast for a smokeless tobacco product in your February 2 issue. This is absolutely unacceptable. Smokeless tobacco is a major cause of brutal and incurable forms of cancer.
Perhaps your readers would like to know how oral cancers are treated? A surgeon once explained it to me in these exact words: "There is not much we can do for some oral cancers, except start cutting off parts of a person's tongue, mouth and face."
Perhaps readers should scour the internet for photos of people who have been permanently disfigured by cancers caused by smokeless tobacco products.
Yes, such photos are shocking—but not as shocking as the fact that some people would willingly profit from a product that would intentionally destroy a young person's life and future.
The deliberate cruelty of smokeless tobacco is not masked by the fact that it is sold in pleasant flavours. There is no "safe" or "moderate" level of use. The Coast should be ashamed for running this ad.
By Shelley Vienot Spencer