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Winter 2007

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"My Addiction" by Tom Beckett

Tom Beckett, a patient at the Joan Karnell Cancer Center, passed away on November 20, 2006, after a valiant five-year battle with lung cancer. In 2004, Tom, a gifted artist, teacher, and community activist completed “My Addiction,” a collage in the beautiful design of a Turkish rug and a provocative statement about the power of cigarette addiction.

My Addiction by Tom Beckett

The artwork was created from recycled materials. Consistent with this theme, the materials used for this piece are cigarette packets from his preferred brand of cigarettes. The background is paper made from the pulp of the packets as well as some tobacco. A 1949 cigarette advertisement is the centerpiece of the design.

Circling the advertisement are Beckett’s pathology reports and the actual image of the computed tomography (CT) scan in an artistically designed pattern.

Shortly before his death, Beckett loaned “My Addiction” to the Joan Karnell Cancer Center to display at the Great American Smoke Out. He supported the smoking ban in Philadelphia restaurants. His message is clear: “If you smoke, quit now. If you don’t smoke, don’t start.” Tom quit smoking 26 days before his death after many prior attempts to quit. He was proud of being a non-smoker.

– Deb DeMille, MS, RD, LDN

 


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