Fifty years ago, U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry had a dilemma. He was due to release a landmark report showing smoking causes illness and death. The problem: The nation's top public health official himself smoked cigarettes.
It took a persistent underling to persuade Terry to kick the habit a few months before the report's release.
“I told him, 'You gotta quit that. I think you can get away with a pipe—if you don't do it openly,' ” Dr. Eugene Guthrie, Terry's assistant surgeon general recalled in a recent interview with the Associated Press. “He said, 'You gotta be kidding!' I said, 'No, I'm not. It just wouldn't do. If you smoke any cigarettes, you better do it in a closet.' ”