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Letters to the Editor

Dear 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 today's Coast for a smokeless tobacco product. 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 more curious readers would like to scour the internet for photos of people who have been grotesquely and permanently disfigured by cancers caused by smokeless tobacco products.

Yes, we all know such photos are shocking--but not as shocking as the fact that some people would willingly profit from a product that would knowingly and 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, and should immediately forward all proceeds from it's sale to the Canadian Cancer Society.

As well, I will await publication of a full report in the Coast, complete with a cover image, on the tobacco industry and how it exploits children and teenagers by pushing these addictive, murderous products as fun "alternatives" to cigarrettes.

--Shelley Vienot Spencer, Halifax

By Shelley Vienot Spencer

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