Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Discusses Nonsmoking Campaign

FL080057 Havana Radio Rebelde Network in Spanish 2300 GMT 7 Apr 88

[Text] Commander in Chief Fidel Castro a few moments ago inaugurated the
largest hemoderivative plant in the Third World.

In response to a question from our journalist, (Belkis Joglar), on the bad
habit of smoking, Fidel said:

[Begin recording] Well, fortunately, I can make some (?remarks) on this.
In this case, I can say:  Don't do what I say; do what I do.  In
particular, quit smoking.  I think it can be said that the cigar is as bad
as all the rest.

Do you know why I made this decision?  The real truth--and I can say it
today on Health Day--is that since the campaign against the cigar began in
the country, once the party leaders became aware of this problem...
[changes thought] We were smoking more each time.  The country was among
the top cigar-smoking countries in the world.  That is when we began the

Everyone could make their own contribution.  I said I wouldn't smoke
anymore in public.  This is my contribution; I will not smoke in public, on
TV, or at a ceremony.

The commitment was intended for within the country.  A journalist, a
foreign journalist, came to interview me.  I had a commitment abroad, so I
appeared with my cigar.  When they showed the interview domestically; there
I was.  The interview was no intended for domestic consumption; it was
intended for abroad.

I decided that the last sacrifice I will make... [does not complete
sentence] I reached the conclusion that the last sacrifice I will make for
public health in Cuba is to quit smoking.  This is the reason; you can't
carry out a campaign against smoking if the leaders set an example as great

This is a problem of awarness.  Since I had this problem and the goal was
truly a noble one, a high goal, a sacrifice for something, it really was no
trouble to quit.  That's the truth.  It was on 26 August; I think it was in
56.... [corrects himself] It was in 85; it was on 26 August 1985.  In the
morning I said, I will not light another one, and I simply quite.  [end