[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
December 2, 1974

To Smoke, to Live, to Die

JAMA. 1974;230(9):1310. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240090050029

"Hollywood Squares," of Monday and Friday evenings in Chicago, is a favored family show, judging by its ratings. Although most of the questions directed to the panel of stars by the urbane Master Peter Marshall are clean, an occasional response, by innuendo, smudges the preliminary remark a bit—never objectionably, or it's blanked out.

Yet, a "clean" question directed to Redd Foxx (or is it Fox?) raised some hackles. The question went something like this: "Are more persons who live a hundred years or longer smokers or nonsmokers?" Redd, perhaps better known as Fred Sanford of "Sanford and Son," cigarette moving from hand to mouth, answered, "Yes, smokers live longer." Whether the contestant in the game agreed or not is beside the point. Peter Marshall announced that more centenarians are smokers. He did not give a source for his pronouncement, nor did he say anything about smokers of what—cigarettes, cigars, pipe—tobacco, corn