Yes...that was the way it was back then, so blaming a "bad habit" combined with "second hand smoke" (which was unknown at that time) for the death of Caen is rather useless.
And Mr. Macon's other comment:
..."people who worked in press offices in those days and LIVED HEALTHY LIVES..." (emphasis added) is also moot.
"Healthy lives???" What was considered "healthy" back then is NOT considered healthy now.
My father never smoked, my family did not smoke, and he was usually not around smokers. (He worked as a Chemist, and smoking in his actual work space was forbidden for safety reasons....but was OK elsewhere in his company.) What killed him (heart attack, and genetic predisposition to heart attacks) was what was considered a "healthy" diet back in his day....very high in fats, etc...
I have no doubt that Mr. Caen also dined out lavishly and well, and this might have added to his later health issues.
Bottom Line: We we will never know, and who cares?
Therefore, I consider Mr. Macon's rant of April 5th to be quite out of place. A nice little memory of Mr. Caen and his column would have been more appropriate.
Poor Frank....we have dragged your lovely Milestone thread into some sort of Netherworld, haven't we? :)