Drug Dealers Punish Welshers by Carving Them a ‘Happy Face’

<i> Reuters</i>

Drug dealers in New York have a new way to punish addicts who welsh on a deal: slash their face ear-to-lips in a phenomenon being called the “crack smile,” doctors reported Tuesday.

Three physicians from New York University Medical Center, who have treated six such cases in the last six months, reported in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Assn. that the facial nerve and the ducts that carry saliva to the mouth are sometimes injured by the slashes.

The slashes, known on the streets as “life marks,” are called “half smiles” or “smiles,” depending on whether one or both sides of the face are involved, they said.