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   Last Leaf, The, by Walter T. Hughes  
 
  Novel, first publication in January 2003
 
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    Buy Last Leaf, The by Walter T. Hughes
     
     
       Additional Information  
     
      When a brilliant young scientist at the U.S. Biological Warfare Laboratories in Maryland discovers a new anthrax-like strain of bacteria, he recognizes unique features that can change the world. Dr. Chris Gregory perfects the organism (BT-2000) to selectively destroy tobacco plants. He and seven other scientists (code name: Poker Players) devise an illegal covert operation. After smuggling BT-2000 into key countries they use top-secret devices stolen from Ft. Detrick to dispense the bacteria worldwide. Tobacco is soon eradicated from the earth. As the supply of tobacco diminishes to the last leaf, farmers go broke, industries collapse and nicotine-addicted smokers panic. Alcohol and drug use, anger in the workplace, road rage and spousal abuse increase. Criminals resort to robbery and murder to obtain remaining precious stocks of tobacco. Eventually the scientists are caught and imprisoned where they are ostracized and beaten by inmates who blame them for destroying their main source of pleasure and barter. After three years the world has changed. Now the air is fresh and clean, addictions have been overcome and rage has subsided. Because lung cancer and other tobacco-related diseases have almost disappeared Gregory is awarded the Nobel Prize for his discovery of a new approach to preventive medicine.

     
     
      Related theme(s)  
     
     
  • Drugs - Narcotics - Addiction - Psychoactive Substances
  • Plague - Disease - Epidemic - Virus

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