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Man urges wife to quit smoking in big way

June 7, 1997

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Morris Stahl tried many ways to get his wife of 47 years to stop smoking. Hiding her cigarettes did no good. Treating them to make them taste bad didn’t work. Nicotine patches accomplished nothing.

Now he’s gone public.

A billboard along a heavily traveled road reads: ``Phyllis J. Stahl. Stop Your Smoking! We love you. From your family and friends.″

Stahl, 71, said Friday he paid $300 for the billboard space for one week as a last-ditch effort to get his 66-year-old wife to give up her three-pack-a-day habit. She had open-heart surgery 12 years ago.

The couple’s son smokes, but their two daughters have quit. Stahl never smoked.

When the couple drove by the billboard for the first time, Stahl pointed it out to his wife.

``She said, `God, are you crazy?′ She was upset, but that was the reaction I wanted,″ Stahl said. ``When she got mad, I said: `Read the bottom line. It says we love you.‴

``We’ve been arguing about this for years,″ he said. ``A lot of my friends asked me where I slept last night, and I said, `Well, under the billboard.‴

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