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Tob Control 8:443 doi:10.1136/tc.8.4.443
  • Speaking personally

Death of a fat lady

  1. SIMON CHAPMAN, Editor

      When Jennifer Paterson, half of culinary “incorrect” British TV cookery programme “Two Fat Ladies”, recently died of lung cancer at 71, she lost eight years off the normal life expectancy of a British woman. If she started smoking at 18 years old, and smoked an average of 20 a day, she would have inhaled 387 165 cigarettes. At 12 puffs per cigarette, that is 4.65 million point blank curings of the once pristine pink linings of her lungs. With cigarettes taking an average of 5.6 minutes to smoke, she would have puffed continuously for 4.12 years. Put another way, for each cigarette she smoked, she lost nearly twice the time it took to smoke it.

      Paterson lost a 10th of the life she might have otherwise lived. She enriched lives of the viewers of her hugely popular programme for a only a short time, in what might have otherwise continued for years as one …

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