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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What Kirk Douglas Thinks About Smoking

Children smoking cigarettes? Yes! The tobacco industry has encouraged the making of cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos for children. They are flavored: white grape, strawberry, pineapple and blueberry. They are selling like hotcakes to the future customers for smoking tobacco. The FDA is trying to put an end to it. Why are they so slow? They should have prevented the making of those cigarettes when they started. Smoking is a deadly thing (more than five million each year worldwide).

Movies should be blamed for encouraging smoking. Look at some of the old pictures, everybody is smoking. Actors love it because it gives them something to do with their hands. I came to Hollywood 68 years ago to play in the movie, The Three Loves of Martha Ivers with Barbara Stanwyck and Van Heflin. I was very excited. In my first scene the director stopped me. "Oh," I thought, "what have I done wrong?"

"Kirk I think you should be smoking a cigarette in this scene."

"Oh, I don't smoke."

"Well it's easy to learn."

And the prop man gave me a cigarette. I smoked my first cigarette and I continued the scene. I didn't finish it because I had to run to the restroom to throw up. But, the director was right, it's easy to learn and I became a two pack a day smoker for some time.

One day, after several years of smoking, I looked at my smoldering cigarette. What am I doing? I inhale the smoke, my lungs take all the impurities out of it and I blow out nice clean smoke.

I thought of my father. Years ago, the doctor told him, "Harry, if you continue to smoke you will die." My father stopped smoking immediately. Here's how he did it: He carried one cigarette in his breast pocket. When he had the urge to smoke he took out the cigarette, stared at it, and in his Russian accent he roared "Who's stronger, you -- me? I stronger!" He put the cigarette back in his breast pocket and never smoked again.

I tried the same thing. It worked! I haven't smoked in over 40 years (I am 96 years old). Of all the drugs, smoking has the highest death rate -- more than 400,000 people per year (which is more than AIDS, alcohol, car accidents, illegal drugs, murders and suicides combined).

Stop smoking and live longer!

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