Facebook Twitter

Doctors scowl at the Bulls for lighting cigars

SHARE Doctors scowl at the Bulls for lighting cigars

Be like Mike? Sure, but hold the cigars, a doctors group says.

Delegates to the American Medical Association's annual convention here were appalled when Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls teammates lit up stogies to celebrate their sixth NBA championship after beating the Utah Jazz.The doctors voted Tuesday for the AMA to urge sports teams and the television industry to keep tobacco products off the air during and after sporting events.

"This is a teachable moment," said Dr. Ronald M. Davis, chairman of the AMA's Council on Scientific Affairs.

Cigar smoking has serious health effects, including cancer of the mouth, esophagus, larynx and lung; heart disease; and chronic lung disease, the doctors noted.

And rates of cigar smoking are rising fast, with sales of large cigars increasing 18 percent between 1996 and 1997, they said.

Only one physician among the 475 AMA policy-makers meeting this week spoke against the proposal. Dr. Chester C. Danehower Jr. of Peoria said he agreed with the sentiment, but it should be handled "quietly, behind the scenes."

But the other doctors said the issue is too important to ignore, even at the risk of seeming to meddle or attack popular figures.

Norman Sharp, president of the Cigar Association of America, said the group had no comment.