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Many changes in half-century since smoking report

By Brittany Weiner
Published On: Jan 08 2014 10:43:54 PM CST

NewsChannel 21's Brittany Weiner shows how smoking has changed over the last 50 years.

BEND, Ore. -

Fifty years ago, smoking was looked at as cool -- not unhealthy.

Everyone from doctors to cartoon character Fred Flintstone actually promoted cigarettes.

"There was cigarettes in the house, ashtrays, full ashtrays everywhere -- it just seemed normal," James Domings, owner of D.A.D.S. Auto Detailing in Bend, said Wednesday.

Only knowing smoking was popular, Domings started lighting up around 12 years old.

U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry was one of the first to make sure people knew more. He released a report 50 years ago that said smoking causes illness and death - and the government should do something about it.

"The No. 1 disease that's caused by smoking, actually, cardiovascular disease, so heart attacks and strokes," said St. Charles pulmonologist, Dr. Jamie Conklin.

One year after the report, Congress required cigarette packs to have warning labels.

Commercials advertising cigarettes were banned altogether in 1971. In the decades since, more and more warnings -- some graphic -- and even bans have come.

"It puts a sense of guilt you know, where you're always thinking about the health risks," Domings said.

Those are health risks Domings began to see after smoking a pack a day for almost 25 years. So he quit, and feels great.

But he also says even 50 years after the first anti-smoking report, "I don't think we can ever stop educating kids about it. If I knew as much as I know now back when I was a kid, I don't know that I would have ever started."

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