Morton Downey Jr., who made his career as a trash-talking TV host who blew cigarette smoke in the faces of annoying guests, says he has lung cancer and will campaign against teen smoking.
"I'm going to beat it. Hey, life is a fatal disease, right?" Downey said Tuesday in Los Angeles.Downey, 63, is working to get his lungs strong enough for upcoming surgery. He is planning a blunt TV special aimed at persuading teenagers to quit smoking.
Doctors spotted the cancer while he was being treated for pneumonia last month.
Downey, who pioneered shock television with "The Morton Downey Jr. Show" during the late 1980s, said he was introduced to cigarettes at age 11 as part of a hazing ritual at a military prep school.