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Tobacco & Smoking 

George Burns - Comedian who always held a cigar during his many humorous performances. In his later years, George reported "I only smoke 15 cigars a day. Besides, at my age I need something to hold onto or I'll fall down."

Cover - George Burns Album - 'I Wish I was Eighteen Again'

In Vaudeville, George started to use the cigar at the age of fourteen. He used a large seven cent cigar as a prop/security blanket and because he thought it made him look more sophisticated.

Burns admitted on the PHIL DONAHUE SHOW that at the age of eighty-eight he still smoked 10-20 cigars a day despite the fact that he had open heart surgery in 1974. The cigar is now an important part of his celebrity status. Now while the audience laughs, he just puffs away.

The cigars he smokes, however, are inexpensive El Producto cigars that sell for a few dollars. He found that expensive cigars are packed too tight and tend to go out to often. So he chooses to use cheap lightly rolled cigars so that he can get more smoke per puff.

If George ever received expensive cigars as gifts, he gave them away to a cigar smoking friends like Danny Thomas.

George Burns with Cigar - TV Guide cover - October 1954

On his 95th birthday celebration (televised 1991) George Burns was asked if he wanted to blow out his candles on his cake. He answered "I'm lucky if I can get my cigar into my holder!"

TRIVIA NOTE: In 1998, 85 year-old comedian Milton Berle who has chomped on a cigar since he was thirteen, lent his name to a magazine called Milton whose motto was "We drink, we smoke, we gamble."

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