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Entries in Adam Butler (22)

Quitting Til the End

When my dad was in hospice he asked me out of the blue, "Do you know what today is?" Before I could come up with the calendar date he answered his own rhetorical question - "One month since I had my last cigarette."

My dad wasn't dying of lung cancer. He had melanoma. He'd started smoking as an adolescent and smoked into his early 40's. He and my mother quit for a decade. Their divorce sparked up the addiction all over again. And dad battled the coffin nails, as we called them, for the rest of his life. Even into his dying. Of cancer. But my dad was proud of this achievement. He highlighted it from his deathbed, literally. That spoke volumes to me. I was proud of him. 

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Tiny Toxic Litter

We humans are prone to odd behaviors. But there are few as absurd as flicking cigarette butts onto the ground, right where we live, work and play. What the butt?

Fact is, cigarette butts aren't disposed of properly 65 percent of the time, which makes them the most frequently littered item on the planet. And they hold the title for #1 littered item on our beaches and waterways here in the US. 

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"Happiness" Subsidized: Big Soda Doesn't Want a Tax on Drinking Soda. But They Don't Seem to Mind Taxing You to Sell More Soda.

Even those who defend the swilling of soda and sugary drinks as an American right, best metered by “personal responsibility”, have to concede that the products themselves don’t really add any meaningful nutritional value to the bodies of their drinkers. But still these bevs have risen through the meritocracy of American consumer preference to become the single largest source of calories in our national diet. And our waist sizes have risen somewhat proportionally. But enough about public health, let’s examine if sellers of sugary beverages can attribute all their success to their own marketing brilliance and tasty liquid concoctions or if these defenders of liquid freedom of choice have evidence of ‘nannying’ in their growth curve.

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Death of a Spokesperson

Recently the story of Natasha Harris hit the news. She died. She was 30 years old. In the months before her death she is reported to have consumed up to 10 liters of Coca Cola a day. That's sad. Sugar is a drug and she was an addict that overdosed. That meant that Natasha’s death was being directly linked to the overconsumption of Coke and her accompanying poor diet. The sugar delivery system people had to weigh in on this ASAP. 

The Coca Cola Company didn’t keep the global media waiting. A spokesperson named Karen Thompson was sent to make the rounds with talking points and she dutifully delivered, "The grossly excessive ingestion of any food product, including water, over a short period with the inadequate consumption of essential nutrients, and the failure to seek appropriate medical intervention when needed, can be dramatically symptomatic.” 

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Can mint-green baseball caps, dodgeballs stenciled with the number "1200," and a whist tournament dissuade kids from smoking? According to a renegade team of designers and community leaders, the answer is yes.

Check out the full Fast Company article on MenthLab, a recent design workshop to combat teen smoking with the organization behind the "Truth" campaign and FearLess collaborators The Butler Bros, COMMON and Common Lab.


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