By DON AINES
MARION, Pa. - Smokers at WJAL-TV can make their habit pay off if they swear off tobacco.
Vice President and General Manager Buddy Merrick Friday announced a plan to pay the station's smokers $200 when they sign up with any program to break the habit. If they remain smoke-free for six months, they get another $300.
WJAL, a Warner Brothers Network affiliate, has about 20 full-time and part-time employees at its offices on Swamp Fox Road in Marion and its transmitter facility near Mercersburg. About eight or 10 are smokers, and Merrick said half a dozen have taken him up on the offer since he made it about two weeks ago.
"I had one employee say he would flat out not quit smoking for anything. He said, `I'm just not going to smoke from nine to five,'" Merrick said. Otherwise, he expects most of the smokers to have signed up by Sept. 2 when the buildings, grounds and vehicles of the station will be declared smoke-free.