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Time Santa Stopped for the Sake of Kids?

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwire) -- 09/18/12 -- Canadian publisher Pamela McColl was compelled to edit the most famous poem in the English language in the interest of protecting young readers. "Exposure to the depiction of Santa smoking a pipe cannot be good," says the single title small press publisher. Santa has been smoking in Clement C. Moore's holiday poem New York Times Bestselling Twas The Night Before Christmas for 189 years and McColl says it's time readers had an alternate version. Parents agree and are opting for a smoke-free Santa for Christmas 2012.

McColl adds that the intent of this edit was to secure the future of this popular poem and not to see it cast aside for being at odds with the needs of children. Parents tell of children worrying about Santa's health due to smoking and of ripping out specific pages to avoid children being exposed to the tobacco imagery and verse. The verse in question is: "The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, and the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath. "

The publisher is not without critics who claim a classic poem should not be edited. McColl replies, "What is a classic if it does not stand the test of time; the pipe is this poem's test. Since the year 2000 pipe smoking has increased by 483% and to have Santa with a pipe is a mistake. Nicotine addiction is a pediatric disease and prevention must start early."

The smoke-free edition released September 2012, has fired up discussions on social media about the cultural influences that contribute to youth smoking. The publisher is on twitter twas4kids and blogs on the website and is active in Smoke Free Movies.

The book has the attention of the international public health community and is part of American Cancer Society's 2012 Great American Smokeout. For Nov. 12-19th. the ebook format will be on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and the Apple Store at no cost.

In August 2012 the ebook won the Global Ebook Award for the Best Christian Children's Book and was a finalist for Best Children's Picture Book.

Books in all formats available in English, French and Spanish.

Title: Twas The Night Before Christmas, edited by Santa Claus for the Benefit of Children of the 21st century

Grafton and Scratch Publishers
Pamela McColl
604 563-0055

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