NEW YORK – A TV ad star who tells horrific tales of heart attacks, strokes and an amputated leg because of his addiction to cigarettes still smokes, according to a report in the New York Daily News.
Skip Legault, 48, told the News that he goes through half a pack a day in spite of the loss of his right leg, his heart attacks and stroke by age 30 and his multiple surgeries.
He also continues to light up despite his role espousing the evils of smoking in a series of New York state-sponsored television spots — but he doesn't feel good about the hypocrisy.
"The more I watch my commercials, the sicker it makes me feel," he told the newspaper.
The Department of Health knows Legault is still a smoker, he said, but that detail isn't revealed in the "Skip in the Park" ad.
His friends from his hometown of Ogdensburg, N.Y., don't understand why he doesn't come clean about the habit he can't kick, Legault told the News.
"They wonder why I'm doing what I'm doing and I'm still smoking and telling everybody to quit," the paper quoted him as saying.
Ursula Bauer, director of the Health Department's tobacco control program, said that Legault was among 100 people who volunteered to participate in the $1.8 million TV ad campaign and one of only four selected, according to the News.
She said his commercials are meant to raise awareness about the links between cigarette smoking and gangrene.