Meet The Man Who Made Us Switch To Marlboro Lights

You know the drill - it's late, you're a little drunk, thinking about turning in, idly flipping around the channels, when suddenly an odd voice issues forth from your television. "Is that Stephen Hawking?" you wonder, looking at the screen, when —- agggggh! - it's some dude with a blowhole! Today's News introduces us to Ronaldo Martinez, star of two of the most effective anti-smoking commercials we've seen in some time. In fact, in the sixth months since the ads' introduction, "[the city Health Department] received nearly 15,000 calls for quit-smoking services." Martinez, 53, originally shot the ads for the Massachusetts Health Department five years ago. It's stirring, impressive stuff, both his survival and his willingness to save others from the suffering he's endured. But our favorite part of the article about this brave man who lost his voice box to cancer comes toward the end:

"Martinez could not be reached for comment yesterday."

Cig shock therapy [NYDN]