The smoking metaphor appears in the section "Metaphors for Presentations" in "The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint":
Metaphors for Presentations
Years before today's slideware, presentations at companies such as IBM and in the military used bullet lists shown by overhead projectors. Then, in 1984, a software house developed a presentation package, "Presenter," which was eventually acquired by Microsoft and turned into PowerPoint.
This history is revealing, for the metaphor behind the PP cognitive style is the software corporation itself. That is, a big bureaucracy engaged in computer programming (deeply hierarchical, nested, highly structured, relentlessly sequential, one-short-line-at-a-time) and in marketing (fast pace, misdirection, advocacy not analysis, slogan thinking, branding, exaggerated claims, marketplace ethics). To describe a software house is to describe the PowerPoint cognitive style. Why should the structure, activities, and values of a large commercial bureaucracy be a useful metaphor for our presentations? Could any metaphor be worse? Voice-mail menu systems? Billboards? Television? Stalin?
A better metaphor for presentations is good teaching. Teachers seek to explain something with credibility, which is what many presentations are trying to do. The core ideas of teaching—explanation, reasoning, finding things out, questioning, content, evidence, credible authority not patronizing authoritarianism—are contrary to the hierarchical market-pitch approach.
Especially disturbing is the introduction of the PowerPoint cognitive style into schools. Instead of writing a report using sentences, children learn how to make client pitches and info-mercials, which is better than encouraging children to smoke. Elementary school PP exercises (as seen in teacher's guides, and in student work posted on the internet) typically show 10 to 20 words and a piece of clip art on each slide in a presentation consisting of 3 to 6 slides—a total of perhaps 80 words (15 seconds of silent reading) for a week of work. Rather than being trained as mini-bureaucrats in PPPhluff and foreshortening of thought, students would be better off if the schools simply closed down on those days and everyone went to The Exploratorium. Or wrote an illustrated essay explaining something.
-- Edward Tufte