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(CO23) I have COPD. Smoked for 46-47 years. Am on oxygen 24-7. Am unable to walk more than a few steps and am gasping for breath.
Thanks, J. W.

(CO44) Dear NV,
I am 39 years old. My father died at the age of 50 - heart problems, in part brought on by smoking. My mother died at the age of 65 following a lung transplant - COPD and emphysema brought on by smoking.

My father-in-law died at the age of 70 - heart problems brought on, in part by smoking. My mother-in-law is currently locked in mortal battle with lung cancer - smoking induced.

My three kids never met my dad. The oldest does not remember my father-in-law. While the two older ones will remember my mom, our youngest (age 4) probably will not. And odds are she will not remember my mother-in-law. My kids are growing up without grandparents, and all the pleasure, learning and love they could have shared. And all of these grandparents have had their health fail and/or have died JUST when their own kids were launched and they could begin to enjoy the fruits of their life labors.

Smoking has robbed our family of one of its greatest assets - our elders. And our elders have been robbed of their greatest gift - life. And in each of these beautiful people's deaths there is no victory, no closure, no comfort.

(CO51) From San Jose California

I was a pack-and-a-half a day smoker of Parliaments for 30 years.

Now I live each day in a battle for survival, hooked up to supplemental oxygen tank around the clock. The last 9 years have thrown me into the fight of my life... with emphysema, chronic bronchitis and asthma, all caused by the years of smoking.

COPD is a debilitating series of diseases of the lung and respiratory system that rob its victims of any chance of maintaining quality of life. Each day we face terrible fatigue, frightening shortness of breath, embarrassing and uncontrollable coughing, and gradual erosion of our physical abilities and self-esteem. It is an illness that is progressive, and for which there is no cure.

Our lives as patients of chronic illnesses caused by smoking are filled
with constant compromises and a sense of mourning for our bodies and what we have lost. We fight depression, exhaustion and a conscious knowledge that we are afflicted with a compromised immune system, vulnerable to any virus or cold germ that may come along. Any of these casual exposures may turn into a severe lung infection and/or pneumonia at the drop of a hat. So we are consistently faced with and reminded of our mortality.

(CO32) Hi. 

My name is Vicky and I am writing to you about my Mother!
She started smoking when she was 11 yrs old.....Back when she had to roll her own Prince Albert! She smoked for 40 years and has been quit now for 3 years thank the Lord! She has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and is dying at age 54.....She will be 55 in March, is on oxygen 24 hrs a day, lives on antibiotics, and can't even walk to the bathroom without hassling for breath! They gave her 2 years in Oct 96 without a Lung Transplant and she has opted not to have a transplant done!

I feel that ANYONE that smokes in the presence of children are
committing a FELONY! We are always screaming about Child Abuse but what is smoking in a closed up car or room with a small child if it's not
Child Abuse! - Vicky

(CO72) I started smoking when I was 17. I remember thinking that it looked really cool smoking with my long black gloves on for prom. When I was 18, I was smoking close to a pack a day. I have continued that habit for 10 years. I always thought that I could quit whenever I wanted to. WRONG! That is a big, fat lie that I would tell myself so that I could smoke another day. I haven't smoked for 2 days now. I lie awake at night, I cry, I'm irritable and nasty to be around. I won't give up this time though. I hear a little voice telling me "Just one won't hurt...you've gone this long you can do it again later". BUT, I will not succumb.

Someone paid me a compliment yesterday about my perfume. I smiled and couldn't believe it. Nobody comments on my perfume. Perhaps it is because they couldn't smell it before. That one small comment has kept me going. I'll be damned if I'm going to have lung cancer, emphysema, etc...

Perhaps it is too late already but I hope not. I'm going to make it this time. I wish that I had never started. K. S.

(CO32) This is my story of how nicotine has affected me and my family.
Almost every member in my family has died and the cause of their death has been from cancer. Everyone with the exception of my grandmother got cancer from smoking cigarettes. My mother has smoked all of her life and her voice has been really hoarse for the last three years. Since cancer seems to run in my family I am very concerned for her. I tried to convince her to stop smoking but she say's she cannot. I have tried to talk her into going to see a doctor for her voice problem but she won't. I think she is scared to.

I also am addicted to nicotine. I have been dipping Copenhagen snuff for about 13 years since I was in high school. I wish I had have ever started. It is a very hard habit to break. I think what the tobacco companies are doing is a crime, a very serious crime and it seems that when it boils down to it the government does not care. Don't get me wrong, I know they have done a lot in the last couple of years but it is not enough. I know the sure way that every one could very easily quit is it was banned and made no longer.

(CO33) I am writing to you in desperation. I need help before it kills me, my mother and millions of others. I have tried quitting before with patches, gum, cold turkey, and I can't seem to quit. I have heard people say if you really want to quit you can. Well I really want to quit and can't seem to. Thanks, anonymous

(CO29) I had smoked over a pack a day for over 50 years. Finally quit in Jan. 1997 but still do not feel like myself...various anxiety, depressions, etc. Heard other former smokers had similar problems on radio talk shows...am not able to fully function. Would appreciate any further info you may have on this problem--length, aids...etc.. J. M.

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