“Long Live the Career Smoker”
In a study conducted through the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, it was found that between the years of 1998-2006, fifty percent of American children were exposed to second hand smoke on a daily basis. Dave Eggers, having experienced this statistic first-hand, tends to have a very biased but yet unique opinion as to why smokers continue with their habit-- even though they are all well aware of the possible outcomes of their choices. In 1998, Eggers wrote an essay that was published in Esquire Magazine. Continuing to fight the idea of smoking and it’s after-effects, Eggers uses personal experience, interviews, and research into tobacco companies to depict the one idea in regards to a smoker’s death that has gone unanswered for far too long: “Ultimately, who’s to blame?”
Growing up, Eggers looked up to his father like any other son would. Sitting there listening to his father’s stories from work, Eggers couldn’t help but think that his dad was some kind of hero. Though that mentality and eagerness toward his father calmed down over time, Eggers continued to find happiness out of his father’s happiness. “He would sit there with his hands behind his head, his legs stretched out on the coffee table, and that crooked grin of his was sort of contagious.” (48) This quote goes to show how much of an impact a father figure can have. Even though it may not seem like it all the time, most children will turn to their parents for comfort and advice in times of need. Because of the fact that Eggers really did idolize his father as a child however, it made the following years that much harder. As his father began to let his smoking habit get out of hand, he was diagnosed with cancer, and yet he still continued to smoke. “Who but a giant could look at a dying wife, a pleading family, and a young son who will soon lose his mother and whose fate you hold in your yellowed fingers-- will this boy lose one parent or two?-- and yet still...
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