Smoke, smoke, smoke…

It was more than half a century ago that I heard singer-comedian Phil Harris first sing, “Smoke, smoke, smoke…” on the Jack Benny show.  Part of the lyrics went like this:  “…smoke, smoke, smoke that ciigarette.   Smoke, smoke, smoke until you smoke yourself to death.   Smoke until you smoke yourself to death.   Tell St. Peter at the golden gate that you hate to make him wait, but you’ve just got to have another cigarette.”    It would be 1964 before United States Surgeon General Luther Terry first warned about the health hazards from smoking.   In the early 80s, President Reagan’s Surgeon General Everett “Chic” Koop amplifed the alarm.  That’s when a significant number of Americans began to heed the warning.  They began to give up cigarettes.  Some have succeeded.   Others still are trying over and over again, but unfornately they’re too weak to succeed.

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