Texas Teen Shawn Galloway Kicks a King-Size Habit—and Pins Secretary Califano to His Word
Shawn was dozing through an HEW-sponsored antismoking film at Houston's Scarborough Junior-Senior High when Califano, in town on HEW business, popped in to see how the school's antinicotine program was working. When he asked how many kids in the room smoked, Shawn was among the few to raise her hand. "I knew at least nine people in the row next to me smoked," she says, "but they wouldn't admit it." Honesty paid off. Califano singled her out for an expense-paid trip to Washington for two if she quit for six months—and on the way from school that day she snuffed out her last cigarette (she'd had her first at 10).
"I was a real bitch for a few days," she recalls. "I'd wake up in the middle of the night and want a cigarette so bad I'd look around for some of Daddy's. But he's hid them." Her friends won't let her bum a smoke even when she begs. Meanwhile her fingernails are bitten to the quick, she worries about her weight, the gum habit is causing dental problems and the chain she's nervously braiding from the wrappers is four feet long. But still she perseveres—inspirited in part by local fans like the third grade class whose pitch to Shawn makes Califano's seem positively juvenile. Their message: "You're too pretty to die."