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Society's Attitude Toward Smoking

            After reading two articles about smoking, I have been forced to question my own opinion and society's attitude toward smoking. Florence King's article "I'd Rather Smoke Than Kiss" is a harsh argument advocating smoking. "Women and Smoking in Hollywood Movies: A Content Analysis" by Gina Escamilla, Angie L. Cradock, and Ichiro Kawachi is a scientific evaluation of the patterns of smokers shown in movies. While King's essay states a more direct opinion that smoking is an individual's choice and smokers should not be persecuted for this choice, "Women and Smoking in Hollywood Movies" never states the authors' specific opinion. It merely gives statistical information that allows the reader to form his/her own opinion about media's portrayal of smokers. .
             "I'd Rather Smoke Than Kiss" is a personal account of a smoker who is frustrated by nonsmokers who attack her based on her choice to smoke. King is not at all ashamed of her habit, and she desperately tries to defend herself. The essay digs deep into why she believes "the hatred of smokers is the most popular form of closet misanthropy in America today" (King 134). Unlike many common articles on smoking, King understands the addiction to cigarettes, and she feels "life should be savored rather than lengthened" (134). .
             While King advocates smoking, "Women and Smoking in Hollywood Movies" tries to give an unbiased interpretation of statistics about smokers in the media. Also, it implies that young, easily persuaded people may be influenced to smoke by seeing smokers glamorized in the media. It focuses on the possible impact of media on adolescents, and especially female adolescents. .
             While both articles have unique and strong viewpoints, neither is necessarily correct under all circumstances. If both of their ideas could be combined, then a more complete point of view could be obtained. I feel that there can hardly be exactly one specific view point that is correct.

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