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present tension

Archive for May, 2008

NYC Declares War on Smoking Mulattoes

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

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No doubt about it, cigarette smoking is a disgusting habit—right up there with sex, nose-picking, and eating at McDonalds. But people persist, and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is determined to give some of them a good whack upside the head.

The Department’s main target is the mass of mulattoes and mestizoes from the Caribbean region. Last year they made a celebrity of one Ronaldo Martinez, a Puerto Rican who claims to have lost his voice box to cancer, supposedly brought on by cigarette smoking. His tale is doubtful, short on specifics. He claims to have lost his larynx at 39, but he looks about fifteen years older, while throat and laryngeal cancers seldom occur before …