Pages: 40 pages
Size: Paperback, 6.5 X 10.5 inches
Baby Don’t Smoke is an exciting, information-rich and colorful graphic novel of a teenage Latina girl named Maria who lives in East Los Angeles with her mother, boyfriend and their newborn. She is lead through a series of dramatic encounters with sinister and friendly characters which climax in a surprise ending, leaving her with the resolve to quit smoking forever.
The findings against cigarette use haven’t been new or remarkable for years. What is remarkable is the continued allure of smoking despite its obvious dangers. Since badgering and many forms of education about the obvious health concerns caused by smoking haven’t eliminated the problem, Baby Don’t Smoke takes a different approach. It encourages teens to rebel! In this case, against the cigarette companies who entice them into addiction and ill-health, and thus contribute to the illness of their infants and children. “We give people a pre-packaged, cool, rebellious identity when they can’t create one for themselves,” scoffs Doris, the novel’s seductive and brilliant villainess who controls Tobacco Empire. When protagonist Maria, a pregnant teen, responds with sarcasm, “You must be very proud,” Doris counters menacingly, “I’m not proud, I’m rich.”
Baby Don’t Smoke presents hard evidence of the dangers of smoking in an imaginative, edgy, & readable format.
Author Everett Jaime, an Hispanic American writer and artist, directs his short graphic novel to young parents and pregnant teens, and their social network of friends and family.
Contemporary illustrations by Eliot R. Brown, with previous publications for Marvel Comics, skillfully drives home the message. The approach is perfectly suited to its target market—lower–income, ethnic teens & pre–teens—without ever patronizing them.