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From Jennings to Quitting

100 smokers poll

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Were smokers more inclined to quit after the news about Peter Jennings’s cancer? We asked 100 on the street (interestingly, it was mostly the younger ones who agreed to be photographed).

How much do you smoke?
More than one pack per day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
A pack a day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Half a pack a day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
A pack a week . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Less . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Have you tried to quit before?
Yes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
No . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Of those who knew about Jennings’s lung cancer,
37 percent said it made them want to quit smoking more.

The most popular way to quit:
Cold turkey (49), followed by the patch (17) and gum (13).

What do you like most about smoking?
“The buzz.”
“Cheaper than cable.”
“Feeling cool.”
“Gives me time to think.”
“Gives me confidence.”
“Gives me a way to get out of the office.”

Smoking icons?
James Dean and Colin Farrell lead the list. Also cited: Brad Pitt, Faye Dunaway, and (somewhat incredibly) Whitney Houston.

What do you hate about smoking?
“Lungs turning black.”
“Having to sit outside.”
“Detrimental to my singing voice.”
“That I need it.”

Do you know anyone who’s died from a smoking-related illness?
Yes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
No . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

Should smokers be able to sue tobacco companies?
Yes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
No . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

Do you hide your habit from anyone?
33 said yes (including 10 from parents, 8 from bosses, 2 from their kids, and 1 from her husband).

Do you feel stigmatized as a smoker?
Yes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
No . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Your thoughts on New York’s smoking ban?
For . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Against . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Do you smoke less because of the ban?
Yes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
No . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

Your thoughts on Bloomberg?
Neutral . . . . 18
Approve . . . . 35
Disapprove . . . 47
(According to a recent—scientific—Quinnipiac poll, 48 percent of New Yorkers approve of the mayor, and 40 disapprove.)


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