01/16/1989 at 01:00 AM EST
HBO (Wed., Jan. 11, 10:30 p.m. ET)
Twenty-five years to the day after the government linked smoking to cancer, Surgeon General C. Everett Koop comes on TV to give scores more scary reasons not to puff. Fine. But this has the air of the Spanish Inquisition, and I'm not sure that works. Most people who smoke know why they shouldn't. When I quit 427 days and five hours ago (yes, my reviews did get nastier about then), it wasn't because men in beards yelled at me. It was because I thought I would feel better (I do). Pride and positive reinforcement work better than nastiness and negativity; ask any psych major. This show just tells smokers how bad they'll feel if they keep smoking. It would have been nice if it also told them how good they'd feel if they quit.