Ed Murrow got me hooked on smoking as a teenager. But in all this “smoking” talk keep in mind I HAVE NEVER INHALED...and I’ve smoked my whole life.
So let’s get the usual question out of the way then move on:
“if you don’t inhale Stan...why do you smoke?”
It’s a fair question and my answer has always been...I just got the habit of blowing the smoke out...and it became pleasurable. So why inhale? I toss the question right back at my critics. This especially goes for cigars. I love big, black cigars...generally from the Caribbean. You don’t have to inhale them (Neil Rogers didn’t) to enjoy bothering everyone else with the odors!
Anyway back to... Edward R. Murrow.
He smoked incessantly...unfiltered king size Chesterfields. He smoked on the set...he smoked during an interview he was doing. The cigarette became a part of his whole persona. He was my news idol...i.e. if I smoked like him I could be like him. Right? Wrong.
And...David Brinkley smoked king sized Salems...and too many of them...like Murrow.
Someone someday should do research into how many of our leading news people died of smoking. Probably most of them!
But in all fairness..here’s something which you may not know.
The big tobacco companies furnished FREE cartoons of cigarettes to the American soldiers in Vietnam. I didn’t know that until I was interviewing a supply sergeant up country. He offered me a carton of Salems (my brand at the time) and told me about the freebies when I offered to pay him for the carton.
I don’t know about beer and hard liquor being free. I don’t think so...but there may have been something gifted by the big liquor companies also....directly through the military to the supply officers and not through the PX’s. You paid in the PX.
I only mention the free part for the soldiers to make YOU aware of the good deed and the next time you typically rail against the big tobacco companies for trying the kill us all... you might keep that in mind.
From time to time someone will ask me about the cigar in my hand. Sly Stallone did that on the set of F.I.S.T. in Dubuque, Iowa. I had some extras so I gave him a few and later when I interviewed him by phone on my talk show in Philly (WWDB)...he remembered and wondered if I could send him a box. I did.
Cigars are still my fortay and I still enjoy them and I don’t inhale. Tomorrow my maduros from Dominica will be here and I’m looking forward to a good smoke!