One News Story – Twelve Clickbait Ads

The image below was assembled from I’ve mentioned this before, but it seems that sponsored ad placement like has risen to the level of the absurd.


Every one of these ads is clickbait and leads to some sort of deceptive or disreputable website, things like Lower My Bills, Pimsleur Appraoch, snake oil peddlers, things like that. Twelve scummy ads for a single news article? Even if you need to place ads, one would think you could choose more reputable businesses to promote than these deceptive, barely-legal scams.

It’s getting more and more difficult to navigate the web for substantive content witnout being bombarded with things like this, hard-coded ads that AdBlocker won’t wipe out. But one thing is certain – you should never click on ads like this; you’ll only be taken to a site that wants to get your money and/or information, and doesn’t care how they do it.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

“Content from the Web”

Most websites have them. Clickbait links that are randomly generated by affiliate marketing programs like Google’s AdSense. Here’s an example from one of my favorite news aggregators,


This isn’t content; every single one of these are advertisements, and direct users to deceptive or disreputable websites.

These links lead to the following websites, from left to right and top to bottom:

1) Flagged by WOT for spam and scam. Sample comment: “Started receiving huge amounts of spam immediately after they got my email. Luckily I did not give my credit card details to these scammers!

2) TotalLifeGuru selling a product called Test X180 Ignite. Your “free sample” will cost you $4.99 S&H, for which payment you will be required to provide your credit card information. Per their terms and conditions, you will automatically be enrolled as a “member” in their Test X180 Ignite VIP Membership Program. As a reward, 18 days later, and every 30 days thereafter you’ll get a new supply for only $79.95 plus $4.99 S&H plus tax. And you can be very, very sure that this program is either impossible or ferociously difficult to cancel. But they have your credit card, and those charges will keep coming, and coming, and coming, just like the Energizer Bunny.

3) Again, TotalLifeGuru recommending a penny auction site called Quibids. Flagged by WOT for scam, misleading claims or unethical, poor customer service experience, and others. Penny auction sites are a guaranteed money loser for all but a very few. From the AARP website:

“That $30 camera represents 3,000 bids. At a dollar a bid, the website could take in $3,000 on that auction item; not a bad haul for a $600 camera. However, even if you are the winner, you will likely end up paying more than the final sale price, depending on how many bids you submitted along the way. For example, if you placed 100 bids at a dollar each, your out-of-pocket will be $130. Still a good deal, but not as fantastic as it might appear at first.”

4) Weekly Financial Solutions recommending a loan program called “EasyLoanSite,” with the headline ”

Little-Known Government Lending Program Offers Ridiculously Low Mortgage Rates!

EasyLoanSite functions much the same way as “Lower My Bills;” in other words, they will gather as much personal information from you as you are willing to provide, “recommend” a few mortgage loan affiliates, and sell your information to every marketer in the world and a few on Rigel V. A sample comment over at

Filled out all the requested information to get an estimate of what I would save by refinancing my mortgage…when I get to the final screen they say “sorry we’re not able to help you but here’s a list of mortgage companies (ads) we recommend you contact.”

5) Again, TotalLifeGuru selling a product called Probioslim. Your “free sample” will cost you $2.99 S&H, for which payment you will be similarly required to provide your credit card information. Per their terms and conditions, you will automatically be enrolled as a “member” in their Probioslim VIP Membership Program (sounds very similar to the program mentioned above in No. 2.) Similarly, 18 days later, and every 30 days thereafter you’ll get a new supply for only $69.95 plus $4.99 S&H plus tax. The most unsettling part of this agreement is as follows:

I understand that this consumer transaction involves a negative option and that I may be liable for payment of future goods and services under the terms of the agreement if I fail to notify the supplier not to supply the goods or services described.

This is legalese authorizing the company to bill you for future shipments, even if you failed to read the fine print. Companies that operate in this manner have the ethics of a hungry honey badger, and should never be dealt with. Their products are also, in all likelihood, ineffective garbage with no discernible value.

6) Leads you to a long, noisy whiteboard presentation for, about which I have already written on two occasions. The Pimsleur approach as marketed by Simon and Schuster is great. I love it as a springboard into a language., however, uses the same ghastly marketing techniques of offering you a cheap intro, followed by a membership program that will send you a new “evaluation” course every 60 days, for each of which you will be billed only four easy installments of $64.00 unless you cancel – which will be very hard to do. This bottom-feeder company thrives on those who don’t read the fine print and who won’t understand why their credit card is being billed for so much and so often.

7) One more TotalLifeGuru shill page for a vitamin called “GetAwayGrey.” A mix of common ingredients mixed with wild claims, this vitamin compound claims to reverse grey hair.


Stay away from such rubbish. It’s like taking sugar pills, but very expensive ones: $29.95 plus S&H for a month’s supply of worthless trash.

8) Lastly, another TotalLifeGuru web page hawking Kerafiber, junk you put on your head to minimize the look of balding. A recent user review at Amazon:

Clumpy, powdery and a waste of money. Would never leave the house with this on. Nothing natural looking about it.

At least this website doesn’t sign you up for a recurring and annoying autoship program without your consent. Regarding TotalLifeGuru, I wonder how many junk products his website shills for, and how much they get for redirecting traffic to these worthless products?

The bottom line is that every one of these “Content from the Web” links are worthless, deceptive and, to my way of thinking, unethical. Companies that value their reputation would do well to stay away from programs that inject such garbage onto their websites.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

There is no “weird trick.”


I’ve written about this bit of Internet stupidity before. It boggles my mind that scummy advertisers continue to use this, but it must generate revenue, or they wouldn’t do it.

Lower My Bills [1] is one of the worst offenders.

You see, I never encounter ads on my desktop machine; Ad Blocker Plus and a few other good extensions take care of that. My smartphone is not so lucky. Here’s an example; check out the ad with the little T-Rex running across it as an attention-getter below.


Now I don’t fall for such rubbish, but today I decided to jump down the rabbit hole just to see where it leads. I was taken to screen after screen requesting my personal information; the usual stuff about what cars I had, how I use them, and what kind of coverage I wanted. They also wanted my address, my phone number, my date of birth, my email address, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Naturally, as with Nigerian scammers, I provided bogus information for everything.

Finally, I got to the last page, where I was promised my free results, and – supposedly – the “ridiculously easy trick”.



Before we click, let’s look at that text disclaimer:

By clicking the button above you agree to be matched with up to 8 partners and/or providers from the LMB Partner Network and their agents and partners and for them and/or us to contact or market to you (including through automated and/or pre-recorded messages/means, e.g. automated telephone dialing systems and text messaging) about insurance information via telephone, mobile device (including MSM and MMS), and/or email, even if your telephone number or email address is on a corporate, state, or the National Do Not Call Registry, and you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You understand that your consent is not required as a condition to purchase a good or service.

Now that’s just scary. If you enter your real data, hoping to learn a “ridiculously easy trick” or even get quotes for low-cost insurance, this is the kind of marketing you will get by mail, by phone, by email, and on your cell phone:


That’s right. A virtual Niagara Falls [2] worth of spamvertising, and you’ve just given these putrescent scumballs your permission to do it.

That’s how Lower My Bills works: T’hey gather your personal information, and sell it to every single possible entity on earth that wants to spam you, who will in turn sell it to the rest of the universe. They offer no other goods or services, even if they claim to do so. This is the height of disreputable, dishonorable marketing, and their ads infest the net like a plague of locusts.

If that’s not scary enough, look at that last sentence:

You understand that your consent is not required as a condition to purchase a good or service.

This means that you have given them permission to sell you their and their partners’ excrement without your explicit agreement, thus opening the door to fraudulent charges on your credit card.

Now let’s see what all that PII got me:


Yup. Exactly nothing. They suggest a few providers, but no “ridiculously easy trick,” no promised quote, nothing. But they would have had all my information, and that information would result (usually within minutes) in a flood of calls, emails, texts, and other ongoing hqiz from people wanting to sell me everything under the sun.

Do yourself a favor. Any time you see that “one weird trick” or anything like it, realize that you’re dealing with a borderline criminal operation, and stay as far away from such drones and scumbags as you possibly can. If you see Lower My Bills, run like hell in the other direction. Oh, and spread the word, too; if you have vulnerable loved ones who are not terribly computer-savvy, make sure they understand this.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

[1] Have a look at this lovely entry at Ripoff Report; also check the Wikipedia entry on this shady outfit.

[2] Slowly I turn!

Change Nothing, Sell More


The webcomic “Doc Rat,” by Jenner (a practicing physician somewhere in the wilds of Australia) has long taken potshots at the marketing department of drug companies. It’s no coincidence that the marketing floor is represented by weasels.

I’ve written about the nature of persuasion before, but sometimes an example of the extreme folly of advertising and marketing rises to the surface, and I feel moved to share – a recent marketing campaign for Shreddies, a Wheat-Chex-like cereal sold in the UK, Canada, and New Zealand.


It was a good seller, and popular, and as well known as Wheaties or Cheerios in the USA, but the manufacturers wanted to breathe new life into the product, and so Kraft Foods came to advertising firm Ogilvy & Mather with a unique request – to re-brand Shreddies as a leader, without having any news about the product to work with, and while keeping in mind that focus groups showed that Shreddies’ customers liked it just the way it was. The resulting campaign was devious, brilliant, humorous, and successful, all at once.



All they did was rotate the image of the cereal by 45°, altering the visual perception of the product.




And despite the fact that the product was identical, taste-testers actually reported a difference in flavor – and a positive one to boot. They liked it better. Not content to rest on their laurels, the company milked the campaign for all it was worth:


The campaign was percieved by many as being tongue-in-cheek, but there were many who did not… and as a result, the sales of shreddies increased by 18% in the first month, and remained higher for many months thereafter. You can read the details of the campaign and see some video clips at Visual Targeting.

There are two main parts to marketing: 1) convincing your target audience that they absolutely need what you have to sell, whether or not they do, and 2) tailoring your product to what your target market actually wants and values. This bit of marketing jiggery-pokery addressed the second in a brilliant way, without the manufacturers having to do anything whatsoever to the actual product.

That’s funny, but it’s also scary. We are being bombarded on a daily basis by upwards of 5,000 ads a day, up from around 500 in the 1970’s [1]. That is an incredible amount of clutter to either tune out or sift through, depending on what your needs are. And almost every one of those ads is using targeted persuasion techniques to get your attention and influence your purchasing behavior. President of the Marketing Firm Yankelovich, Jay Walker-Smith, has said, “Consumers don’t hate advertising. What they hate is bad advertising.”  There is some truth in that; I’ve mentioned some of my favorite advertising spots before, and if all advertising were as clever as these, I’d be persuaded to watch more of them. At the same time, it’s important to remember that this advertising has only one purpose – pushing every single one of your buttons in the hopes that you will open your wallet.

A couple of good tips:

  • Nothing is free. You’re paying for it somewhere else. A “gimme” is only a good thing if you’re willing to pay the price elsewhere, and if that price has value for you.
  • A sale is not a sale. It’s simply a retailer cutting an inflated price back to the profit level he wants in the first place. (Liquidation sales can be the exception to this rule.)
  • Saving 20% on an item is not a good deal if you can’t afford the other 80% in the first place. Don’t buy things you don’t need.

The Old Wolf has spoken.


[1] CBS News.


America: Beautiful in any language

I recently posted about my experience watching two of my friends become American citizens. Now comes the Superbowl with its spate of commercials, one of which has generated some sentiment that absolutely should not exist in this country.

It’s a simple concept. People of various nationalities singing “America the Beautiful” in their own language. But for sheer ignorance, have a look at some of the Twitter comments recently posted about this commercial:

  • The Coca-Cola Co. Should apologize for the ridiculous #SuperBowl commercial #AmericaTheBeautiful should ONLY be in one language #English
  • Heres List Of ALL #Coke Products-BOYCOTT! Our Language Is #English Not Turkish! #SuperBowl #Broncos #SeaHawks #sports
  • Really glad I drink @Pepsi and not @CocaCola because that commercial was just AWFUL next time #ENGLISH please! #SB48 #SuperBowl
  • If you want to come to this country fine we welcome you BUT your going to sing America The Beautiful in #ENGLISH & drink #PEPSI #SUPERBOWL
  • I don’t think a commercial that sings in other than #English is a good idea #SuperBowl am not gonna buy ur product anymore
  • WTF?  @CocaCola has America the Beautiful being sung in different languages in a #SuperBowl commercial? We speak ENGLISH here, IDIOTS.”

The xenophobia and ignorant racist vitriol being spewed out onto the Internet breaks my heart. Yet these people seem to have no problem driving down Via Verde Avenue in their Prius to go eat Pizza with their Swedish girlfriend… the intellectual and spiritual disconnect is very difficult for me to get my head around.

Some statistics would probably not be amiss here. The 2010 census reports:

Americans 308,745,538 100.0 %
White 223,553,265 72.4 %
African American 38,929,319 12.6 %
Asian American 14,674,252 4.8 %
Native Americans or Alaska Native 2,932,248 0.9 %
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 540,013 0.2 %
Some other race 19,107,368 6.2 %
Two or more races 9,009,073 2.9 %

Of that total, 16.4% are of hispanic or latino ancestry. That’s close to two out of every 10. Moreover, have a look at the 15 largest ancestries of these oh-s0-proud Americans:


It wouldn’t be surprising if the real names of some of these uneducated and small-spirited bloggers were Jorgensen, DeSalvo, O’Shaunessy, Kang, or Graumann. If they’re taking pride in being called Jones, they may well have forgotten their Welsh ancestry.

Kris Kristofferson has Swedish ancestry. The Governator is from Austria. Rocky Marciano was Italian. Bruce Willis was born in Idar-Oberstein, West Germany. Walter Cronkite had Dutch ancestry. Robert Zemeckis had Lithuanian ancestors. Gene Simmons was born in Israel. My own grandparents came from Tuscany and Calabria. America the beautiful, the open, the welcoming, the free – it has always been and will always be a melting pot of cultures, races, languages and ideologies. We must never forget the words of Emma Lazarus:


Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

“The New Colossus,” 1883

As our nation grows in population and we deal with issues of unemployment and the social well-being of our citizens, the issue of immigration must of necessity be dealt with in a rational and humane way, giving priority to those who enter our country through legal and approved channels – but we must never become a nation where ugly and brutal nationalism is allowed to become a vehicle for the demonization of any race, creed or culture. Our national language is English, and those immigrants who have been most successful are the ones who have assimilated rapidly, learned the language and the culture of their adopted home, and mainstreamed themselves and their children. But remembering and honoring their cultural heritage is also a big part of who they are, and how they interact with and contribute to the nation.

If you’re going to insist on English only, you must by rights exclude yourself from ever eating at Acquerello in San Francisco (in fact, you must refer to it as Saint Francis, and no one will know what the hqiz you are talking about) or Piccolo Angolo in New York; you are prohibited from ever driving a Porsche or a Mercedes-Benz; you may never refer to a shiatsu massage or a reiki treatment; you can’t drink vodka; taboo is taboo; you can never again use ketchup; and heaven help you if you want to eat fondue.

For the love of whatever you hold sacred, fight racism, exclusionism, nationalism and xenophobia with every fiber of your being. Every American citizen in this country is entitled to the same respect and status – remember, in the end, – with the exception of Native Americans who were here long before the Mayflower – we all got here on a boat one way or another.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Cigarettes, grammar, failed marketing, and everything.

Back in the day, tobacco companies could advertise, and advertise they did. Everywhere. Subways, buses, magazines, radio, television, courtesy packs on airplanes, you name it. The more powerful ads drove the more powerful brands. The Marlboro man was everywhere:

Rugged, strong, and healthy – notice the absence of the Surgeon General’s warning on this example from the 60’s.

But in those days, tobacco execs would go on national television and swear that tobacco wasn’t harmful, even to pregnant women (many of whom actually preferred smaller babies)…

… which babies were also used to hawk tobacco products.

Of course, now we know more than we did then:

But this is now, and that was then.

Two of the more popular cigarette campaigns actually capitalized on bad grammar:

This slogan was routinely held up by prescriptive grammarians as an example of abominable usage: “like,” they said, is a preposition governing nouns and noun phrases, and should never be used as a conjunction introducing an adverbial clause. “Winston tastes good as a cigarette should,” intoned the English teachers, was the only acceptable form. Naturally, the ad execs picked up on the furor and capitalized on it:

Not to be left out of the action, MAD magazine put this on the back of their January 1971 issue, which shows that many folks were quite aware of the dangers of smoking, thank you, even while the Tobacco execs were perjuring themselves on the national scene.

In fact, “In December 1952 [Reader’s Digest] published “Cancer by the Carton“, a series of articles that linked smoking with lung cancer. This first brought the dangers of smoking to public attention which, up to then, had ignored the health threats.” (Wikipedia) An interesting article summarizing the history of tobacco and health concerns can be found at CNN Interactive.

Popular stars shilled for tobacco on a regular basis – it seems so bizarre to watch Granny Clampett and Jane Hathaway discussing the merits of Winston, but it’s amusing to see how they worked the grammar issue in at the end in a Madison Avenue “double whammy”.

The Flintstones got into the act as well:

I confess with some shame that tobacco contributed to putting bread in my mouth for some time; mother functioned as a spokeswoman for Camel cigarettes for a year.

But when it came to using bad grammar, Winston was hardly the only offender – Tareyton’s campaign confused nominative and oblique to good effect in their highly successful slogan, “Us Tareyton smokers would rather fight than switch.”[1]

Despite the peccadillo – it seems that cigarette ads thrived on controversy – this particular advertising campaign was wildly successful in the 60’s, and pushed Tareyton’s popularity close to the top of the charts.

But not all products, even those from the makers of successful brands, were an instant hit.

Back in 1966, when I was 15, I was on one of my semi-regular visits to my mom’s brother in Salt Lake. We took a trip up to Idaho to see some additional relatives, and I remember spending some time in a tobacco warehouse, helping to run cartons of cigarettes through the tax-stamp machine. (Had the government gotten wind of our little diversion, the owner could have been shut down, but oversight was lax and attorneys less numerous in those days.) While I was working there that day, I noticed something unusual – a carton of Tennyson cigarettes, which I had never before heard of.

Now, the more astute among my readers will be asking themselves, “What does a 15-year-old know from tobacco?” As it happens, even at that tender age I was somewhat of a tobacco connoisseur. I had started smoking in high school, finding that it was a gateway to a certain level of acceptance, for as little as that was worth. And I parlayed my small bit of social coin into a minor fortune by becoming a user of odd and revolting brands.2 (In Connecticut, the legal age for tobacco was 16, but even before that I had no end of “friends” who would procure for me in exchange for a small consideration.)

Strong and with a different flavor than American standards.

Oval cigarettes. Cute gimmick, but nothing special otherwise.

Absolutely foul. If I had these, I was guaranteed nobody would bum off me.

Tasted just about like smoking a cow pie. Or so I imagine.

Had kind of a fruity taste, unlike anything else I had ever smoked. Meh. However, Lark’s claim to fame was their commercial, the 1960’s version of Google Street View – the Lark truck would run around different places with a TV camera on the back, blaring the William Tell Overture, and asking people, “Show Us Your Lark Pack!” I saw this truck run down 1st Avenue in Manhattan one day; even if I had had a pack of Larks on me, I decided that discretion would have been the better part of fame, since I was still underage in New York.

[Edit: I had a copy of the commercial in question here, which I had posted at YouTube. Even though it was listed as public domain under a Creative Commons license, it appears that the brand is still owned by Trademarks LLC. The video was removed at YouTube, but for some odd reason still played here. In light of some communication with the above-mentioned company, I have removed the video. Unless it is taken down elsewhere, however, you can still see it here (3rd one on the list).

Now, since we’re on the subject of advertising in general as well, I nominate Salem cigarettes for the most insidious commercial ever devised. As a linguist who has studied close to 20 languages over the course of my life (although I don’t claim to speak them all), I can tell you that anything you produce will remain in your memory much longer than anything you hear. When learning a language, speaking is much more powerful than listening; they are different skills, yes, but the first cements things in your memory a lot longer than just hearing them, even multiple times. The following ad is much like getting up at 3:00 AM in the home of a musician, and playing only the first five notes of “Shave and a haircut” on the grand piano. It’s a guarantee that an irritated and foggy victim will stumble down the stairs to finish the “two bits” part before being able to go back to sleep.[3]

Unfortunately, despite these commercials being ancient, many of them have been taken down on copyright grounds. But go here and advance to 6:40, and you’ll get one of the ads that I’m referring to. Unless you are some kind of superhuman being, you will finish the line, and you will sing the brand name in your head. There is no escape.

There were others. I knew every brand on the market, and some that weren’t. I even rolled my own for a while, although not very skillfully, but when I couldn’t get these, I’d smoke anything I could get my hands on. My mother smoked Carltons (why bother, I wondered?) and when I’d cadge hers, I ripped the filter off; ultimately I settled on Luckies as my brand of choice. And of course, in the process, I became a 3-pack-a-day man by the time I was 18. The end of that story is that I quit, cold turkey, that year and never looked back – but my lungs paid a lifetime price.

So that brings us back to Tennyson, and by now I think you’ll understand why it caught my eye. A brand I didn’t know about? Intriguing! But in those days, there was no Internet, and such arcane knowledge was not to be found anywhere. Only later, thanks to the miracle of the Intertubez, was I able to dig up a bit of history, but even today what’s out there is pretty sparse.

In 1966, Tennyson launched a fairly comprehensive media blitz to publicize their new brand. I’m not sure why Tareyton simply didn’t choose to introduce a menthol version of their already-famous brand.[4]

I even remember the jingle. I began to wonder later if I had imagined it, but fortunately the original sheet music which was submitted to the legal process was conserved:


So I’m not senile after all. I may be crazy, but that’s different. As a final bit of curiosity, I also found this:

Same package, same font, same look as Tareyton – but nary a whit of information to be found about what these are, or when or where they were sold. Possibly a European version of Tareyton? One clue:

This has been a bit of a ramble, but I got a good bunch of things out that I won’t have to worry about later (‘Now where did I archive that?’)

The Old Wolf has rambled.

1 In case you’re wondering, it should be “We Tareyton smokers.”

2 Plus ça change, plus ça reste la même chose. Visit The Old Wolf’s Banquet from Hell.

3 Brooke McEldowney, both a very gifted musician and a supremely talented artist who does the webcomics 9 Chickweed Lane and Pibgorn, riffed on this twice. In the first one, Edda and her mother Juliette engaged in this very exercise here; the second, where poor Seth is tormented by his ballet company, is here.

4 As it happens, such a thing exists, even though I only found out about it later as I was researching the topic. Never once did I see these in stores.

No wonder little girls want to be sexy

An article in the Huffington Post explores a study published online in the Sex Roles journal. Of greatest interest was a slideshow illustrating some toy lines which have, over time, morphed themselves into a “sexier, girlier” version.


Holly Hobbie

Candy Land

Strawberry Shortcake

Rainbow Brite

My Little Pony


Cabbage Patch Kids

Lisa Frank

I have no brief with any of these toys in particular, other than to illustrate a general trend. What I do have a real problem with is this:

Bad enough that the Bratz line was sexualizing 8-year-olds; now they’re zooming in on the infants, and this comes right up to the line of catering to pedophiles. I’m astonished that an abomination like this made it anywhere near an American shelf.

Children need to be allowed a childhood. The way things are going, layettes will someday include infant bikinis and makeup. {Note: Don’t point me to websites that are already advertising such things. There must be some rule of the internet that says “if you’ve imagined it, someone has already done it.”}

The Old Wolf has spoken.


More doctors smoke Camels™

Back in the day, not only doctors but babies, sports figures and Santa Claus would hawk tobacco products. My mother did Camel commercials, and I remember that for a while she would regularly receive a carton of Camels in the mail from the sponsor as part of her compensation. Small wonder I took up the habit when I went away to prep school – back in the day, it was still considered the cool thing to do. And, as I had no other claim to fame and fortune, I developed the knack of finding the nastiest, strongest brands I could – Gauloises, Players, English Ovals, and some Turkish abomination or other come immediately to mind. By 1969,  when I finally quit, I was smoking 3 packs a day of unfiltered anything; when I’d cadge cigarettes from my mother, who smoked Carltons (what an abomination they were), I’d have to rip the filters off.

Despite a sea change in conventional wisdom, today roughly 1 in 6 people still use tobacco worldwide; in the USA, 20% of adults still used tobacco as of 2010. Big tobacco and those who took payoffs to promote this deadly product shoulder a large part of the responsibility.

If you smoke, quit now. It will kill you.

The Old Wolf has smoken.