Article Text

Download PDFPDF
My mother, the smoker
  1. Kirsten Levy
  1. Correspondence to:
 K Levy
 Cardiovascular Proteomics Center, Boston University School of Medicine, 670 Albany St, Suite 504, Boston, MA 02118-2518, USA;klevy{at}


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.

  • smoking
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • culture
  • memoir
  • biography
  • intersubjectivity
  • blog

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Funding: KL receives salary from a US National Institutes of Health-funded contract to Boston University.

  • Competing interests: None.