Central New York parents are having their say on a major change to a children's classic story. A new version of "A Visit from St. Nicholas" edits out all references to Santa Claus' pipe habit - and critics argue it is political correctness gone haywire.
The website TwasTheNightBeforeChristmas.ca of Canadian author Pamela McColl says, "This is not about telling a 65 year old that they shouldn't be reading an edition with smoking Santa, this is about protecting the youngest of readers from positive imagery of smoking that can contribute to their subsequent sympathy to nicotine which is the most addictive and dangerous drug of all, that kills more people than any other disease and places the greatest strain on the healthcare systems."
Reaction has been swift on the CNYCentral Faecbook page. Jake Troy wrote, "So he doesn't smoke tobacco anymore, but he still stalks children and breaks into your house at night? Sounds child-friendly now!!"
Autumn Fischer Pooler wrote, "There is no reason to change tradition, I think change can be a good thing but some things should just stay as they are. Frosty has a pipe in his mouth in the song are you gonna wanna change that too?"
But those who are against smoking in general won't back down from their position. Diane Moore wrote, "Why are people so protective of smoking? I think it is more a sign of the times that smoking is not normal anymore, and it shouldn't be portrayed as if it is."
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