I'm Afraid We Have Some Serious Problems Facing US in the Next Session of the Connecticut General Assembly

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In this one-page letter to the Tobacco Institute, tobacco industry public relations consultant Angelo DeMio lists lung cancer victims who hold in influential positions in Connecticut, and who, as a result, are "anti-smoking" and thus pose "serious problems" for the industry. The first person he lists is the chairman of the Hartford (Connecticut) Board of Education, a four pack a day smoker who got lung cancer, and who, as a result, made an "avowed declaration of war against smoking." Of the chairman's smoking proclivities, DeMio opines, "What ever happened to moderation?"

DeMio further warns that another former smoker and lung cancer survivor, a retired Bloomfield, CT dentist who was chair of the state assembly's Public Health and Safety Committee, also favors smoking restrictions.

DeMio describes a syndicated columnist from Connecticut who is also "anti-smoking (and vociferous about it)...as a result of a bout with cancer."

DeMio makes this comment at the end of the letter:

"Thought. If anyone over-ate to that degree [referring to the 4-pack-per-day-smoker], I imagine he would die of [obesity?]-related diseases, but I don't hear anyone calling for the abolition of steak and potatoes or pastry...."

Quotes from the document:

Dear Blucker,

I'm afraid we have some serious problems facing us in the next session of the Connecticut General Assembly...what with the avowed declaration of war against smoking by Scott McAlister, chairman of the Hartford Board of Education.

McAlister attributes his lung cancer to being a four pack-a-day smoker. (What ever happened to moderation?)**

He apparently wants a complete abolition of smoking in public places in Connecticut. (As you know, in nearby Windsor, a councilman wants to abolish smoking entirely, and , of course, the chairman of the Assembly's Public Health and Safety Committee, Dr. Morris Cohen, a retired Bloomfield dentist, is also a former lung cancer patient. Cohen once told me privately he smoked moderately years ago--long before he was a lung cancer victim, I believe...and I've since heard his sister--a non-smoker--had a malignancy, also (although I'm not certain of this and will check it out).

McAlister is a 'pr' type and was recently promoted to executive vice president of the Alsop-family controlled Hartford Fire Ins. Company. John Also, Rep. National Chmn, from Conn., is chmn of the company and he is, of course, brother of Joseph Alsop and the late columnist Stewart Alsop.) He is also apparently close to U.S Senator Lowell Weicker (R-Conn.)

Complicating our problem in Conn., also, is Herb Brucker, former editor of the Hartford Courant, and now a syndicated columnist, who is also anti-smoking (and vociferous about it) again as a result of a bout with cancer. I don't know how widely Brucker is syndicated, but he has considerable influence in Hartford, where his column appears about three times a week.

Cordially, Angelo J. DeMio

* Thought. If anyone over-age to that degree I imagine he would die of [illegible--"obesity"?]-related diseases, but I don't hear anyone calling for the abolition of steak and potatoes or pastry. Long range thought: Are we ready to urge moderation as sensible whether you eat, smoke, drink, exercise, or even take aspirin???

Title: I'm afraid we have some serious problems facing us in the next session of the Connecticut General Assembly
Author Demio, AJ
Date 19750917 (September 17, 1975)
Type Letter
Bates 500011233
Collection: R.J. Reynolds
Pages: 1
URL: http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/xue71d00

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