Asana Recovery

How Yul Brynner Took One Final Stab at Cigarettes


Over the past decades, we Americans have watched some pretty bizarre and unnerving drug PSAs.  Remember the moment when Paul Reubens dressed as his iconic character Peewee Herman appeared on screen to teach kids about crack cocaine? Each of us can agree that one of the most compelling and unnerving PSAs of all time was the message from actor Yul Brynner in 1986. After suffering from endless treatments for lung cancer, all brought on by smoking, the iconic performer urged people to drop their nasty habits and save their lives. It was a message that will never be forgotten, for many reasons. Let’s take a closer look at how Yul Brynner took one final stab against cigarettes.

Living through the Message

Throughout his career, Brynner was a king among actors. Literally as well as figuratively. At the time he was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1983, the 65-year old icon had performed 4,625 times as King Mongkut in Rogers and Hammerstein’s The King and I. This was one of the most beloved musicals of all time. In 1952, he won a Tony for his performance. This was followed by an Oscar win in 1965. However, since the age of 12, Brynner had been a chain smoker. His sickness eventually spawned another sickness.

Even more remarkable, he continued to perform to the best of his ability despite his diagnosis.

Making a Bold Statement

Finally, with permission from Brynner’s widow Kathy, the American Cancer Society used Brynner’s message. It was featured on Good Morning America, as part of a PSA. Opening dramatically with a simple message “Yul Brynner (1920-1985).” The footage begins with a prematurely-aged Brynner begging the public to stop smoking. If he could have taken it back, he adds in the 30-second spot, he would have snuffed out cigarettes decades ago. With that, the last filmed footage of an acting legend concludes.

Still, we can all agree that this King will always live on in our hearts. We can only hope this his message continues to inspire nations.

Seeking Treatment for Cigarette Use     

Remember that addiction can be triggered by one shot of alcohol or a single puff of a cigarette. But, the true danger of this sickness is that you cannot fully determine how much you have to consume before your mind forms an attachment. Social smoking is just as dangerous as chronic smoking, on many levels. But, you do not have to smoke to have a good time. Remember, drugs cannot determine if you have fun and do not have control over your life.

If you are suffering from a severe case of drug abuse or addiction, or have a friend or loved one who is coping with this illness, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the process. Our alcohol withdrawal and detox programs will guide you along the road of rehabilitation. Soon enough, you will experience a faster and much more efficient recovery.

If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504. Learn how you can overcome your mental illness. Take that extra step toward becoming a healthier person.