Watching a frail parent, with a pack-a-day smoking habit, decline into dementia, I wrote a blog and morphed it into a narrative of my mother’s smoking, paralleling her habit with the rise and fall of smoking through the ages. I imagine that some readers might be grappling with similar anguish and I offer this part memoir, part history, part health ethics discussion to understand what is so compelling about her experience with tobacco.
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Funding: KL receives salary from a US National Institutes of Health-funded contract to Boston University.
Competing interests: None.
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