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TV: Tonight on “Gunsmoke”

Jan. 11, 1964 - Confessions of a lack of will power and sheer defiance were among the most frequent reactions of New Yorkers today to the Federal report finding the use of cigarettes a peril to health. There were exceptions. “The report frightens me” — “It scares the hell out of me” — “I’m through.” — “I guess I’ll cut down” were some of the minority reports.

A group of men in a tavern near Radio City Music Hall agreed that they would not give up cigarette smoking. “I can stop drinking, but not smoking,” one man said. The bartender, too, said he would not stop. Asked why, in the face of the Government report,” he replied: “Because I’ve got strong lungs.” In the theater district, a man puffing on an unfiltered cigarette answered “Not at all” when asked if he would stop smoking. Pressed for a reason, he said, “I love these stinkers.” Joseph Bernard of Manhattan said he had tried unsuccessfully to stop smoking several times. “It’s a difficult habit to break, but I might try again,” he said, reaching into his pocket for one of the 40 cigarettes a day he smokes. An unidentified working girl smiled proudly and said she had stopped smoking for six hours after having read the report. A Brooklyn resident, Charles Singer of Sheepshead Bay, said he had been smoking four packs a day for 35 years and simply hadn’t the will power to stop. “It’s gotten so bad,” he said, “that I smoke two cigarettes in the morning when I get up before I do anything else,” he said. Paul Moran, a sales representative of Mineola, L.I., said he was “not yet decided” on whether the report would persuade him to quit. “You do have the feeling, of course, that certain things happen to ‘the other fellow’ and won’t happen to you,” he said.


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