Lisa Simpson's Feminist Heroes Were All Smokers

Last night's episode of The Simpsons struck a particular chord with me because it was all about Lisa's newfound interest in smoking, which she undertakes in order to lose weight and handle the stress of ballet class. I quit smoking in April 2003 with the help of Zyban, but about a month ago, I picked it up again, due to stress from my job, and admittedly, a desire to avoid stuffing my face with food while I'm at home all day. In the clip above, Lisa is visited by smoke ghosts in the forms of her feminist heroes — Lillian Hellman, Queen Elizabeth I, Margaret Mead, Lauren Bacall [A ghost? Isn't Bacall still alive? -Ed.] — who underscore the fact that millions of otherwise-intelligent women fall prey to the "allure" of cigarettes. And with that I say: "This one is my last pack. I swear!"

Related: New Research Dispels Myth That Cigarettes Make Teenage Girls Thinner, But Smoking May Stunt Growth Of Teenage Boys [Science Daily]
Earlier: How To Market Death To Women: Make It Sexy, Make It Pink


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I am a smoker, struggling to break the habit. I'm in my 30s and jeez, it's been 20 years. That seems crazy. I am completely overwhelmed by the people around me however who consider it to be mind over matter. And the number of non-smokers who weigh in. It is such a struggle people. To know how bad it is for you, but to still love it as much as the day is long.

I have a friend, 76 years old, who was just diagnosed with lung cancer. He smoked for a very long time, but quit in his 50s and now it is all coming back to haunt him. I feel an incredible guilt with the fact that all of my knowledge doesn't make me just throw my pack away, but seriously, I don't know how. What if it's too late and I'm going to end up like him anyway? I know that is horrible, but I am a smoker and this is how we think. I'm really stressed about it. I'm about a week in, but I had one cigarette on Friday. And the guilt alone makes me want to throw in the towel.