|Desperate to quit smoking|
The good news is that the stop smoking ads featuring black tongued, fingerless victims may be having their intended effect. The bad news is they may be creating a public so desperate to quit that others may be injured in the process.
31-year-old Etta Mae Lopez, a Californian woman from Sacramento, was desperate to quit smoking but unable to do so by conventional means. As a result, she devised a fail safe plan to kick the habit.
Last week, Lopez waited the better part of the day outside the Sacramento County jail for a sheriff's deputy – any sheriff's deputy - to exit the building. When an unsuspecting officer, Matt Campoy appeared, Lopez proceeded to slap him. Later, she struck the same officer in the arm.
Once arrested, Lopez explained that she deliberately hit the officer in an attempt to be jailed. She reasoned that since smoking was forbidden there, she would have a great chance to break her awful habit.
Speaking to The Sacramento Bee, Deputy Campoy said:
"She knew that the only way to quit smoking was to go to jail because they don't allow tobacco in the jail. She waited all day for a deputy to come out because she knew if she assaulted a deputy she would go to jail and be inside long enough to quit her smoking habit."
Several days later, Lopez got her wish for smoking rehab when she pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of battery on a peace officer. She was sentenced to 63 days in jail,
and given conditions which included an order to have "no contact" with sheriff deputies.
This case is now raising concerns among the anti-smoking advocate community as to whether or not the quit cigarette campaign could lead to more assaults. Police in particular are alarmed, fearing they could become frequent targets.