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(M126) Kortni's Mom

I stumbled across this site after coming into a computer room where I couldn't breathe.  My name is Kortni, I'm 17 and I've had ear infections, sinus infections, and bronchitis practically all my life because my mom can't stop smoking and doesn't really seem to care what effects it has on me, regardless of what doctors have told her.  So tonight, I'm plastering the door to this room with every fact on smoking that I can find in some efforts to persuade her to at least not smoke in here.  The more she does it, the more I feel my chest tighten and the more I can't breathe, so I'm going to do something about it.  Any help, words of encouragement, links, etc. are much appreciated, and thank you for putting such a great site on the web.  Keep up the great work.--Kortni

(M312) Pam's Mom

My mother died two months ago.  She was 73.  She smoked for over 40 years, and quit 6 years ago.  I am writing this email to let everyone know that there are serious vascular problems that are caused by smoking.  Do a web search on Peripheral Vascular Disease.  You will find a description of the disease that killed my mother.  Prior to her last illness that began four months ago, Mom had been diagnosed with asthma and fibromyalgia.  Her pain was so severe that she was prescribed oxycontin at high doses.  Her breathing problems had become more severe and she required an occasional visit to the emergency room for treatment.

We all felt so sorry for Mom.  Her pain was so severe, and her breathing was so labored.  However, we never expected what happened to her.  You see, she had been misdiagnosed.  She did not have fibromyalgia, she had been experiencing severe claudication- a term used to describe the pain that you feel when your veins are so narrowed that your blood can not circulate.  She was diagnosed when she suddenly experienced a number of blood clots that lodged in her abdomen and foot. She had two surgeries- the second was a below the knee amputation of one of her legs.  The horrors that she experienced over her six week hospitatilization can not be described.  Due to her long smoking history and the irreversible damage done to all of the vessels in her body and her lungs, she never had a chance.
My heart is broken, but I am using my time of grieving to conquer my 30 year nicotine addiction.  It is very hard, but I can assure you that it is nothing compared to what I saw my mother experience.  I pray that I have quit in time.

(M328) Darla's Story

I am celebrating my 45th birthday in 2 weeks...I have been a non-smoker for the past 6 months.  I did not quit because I was scared of cancer...I was scared of smoking contributing to the heart disease that is in my family.  I have 2 children a 19yr old son and a 4yr old daughter...I also have a new granddaughter.  I had 2 people I knew quite well die of heart attacks last fall...both smokers....the funny thing is I didn't want to quit and if you had told me a week before I did that the next Friday would be my first smoke free day I would have laughed....but after those 2 deaths I didn't feel as if I had a choice...I am the mother of that beautiful 4yr old that is running through my house and I am the grandmother of that wonderful 8 month old granddaughter....maybe I need to believe that I need to be here for them ... but it is for them that I will never again smoke another cigarette...I want to watch my daughter graduate from high school and cherish the years I have to spend with my granddaughter.  Was it a struggle... of course!  My smoking friends and family all say to me I wish I could quit...you can! find what it is that makes you want to quit and go for it...don't give up it gets easier every day and seeing the pride on my little girl's face when she tells people her mommy doesn't smoke anymore is very much worth any struggle I have had to deal with
best of luck to you all


(M23) To whom it may concern;

I am 27 years old and I've been a smoker since I am 11 years, old. I quit one time for a year cause I was having severe chest pain. After I stopped, I felt great. But being addicted to nicotine never left me. I felt that mentally I could keep going on, physically my body kept desiring the drug. Everyday I want to quit but I forgot how I did it the first time. I cough almost all day. I have asthma because of smoking.

I definitely blame the tobacco industries because of the way they posted TV ads. Back then, there were no real mandatory restrictions on the use of tobacco and the companies never admitted the addiction of nicotine. It took all this time to find out that I am an addict to nicotine. Smoking has made me a very depressed person. I wish I never started in the first place. I might die from it, I don't know. Or maybe I have to live with fighting this disease for the rest of my life. Thank You. Michael

(M62) I quit smoking 39 days ago. I'm still on patches now 3 mg but feel horrible. I have headaches, severe depression, dizziness and sleep up to 18 hours a day. Is this still nicotine withdrawal? If so, when will it go away? I don't want to smoke but don't want to do anything stupid with this depression. Anonymous

(M103) I have a boyfriend who smokes and I need someone to tell me how I can get him to stop! He said he would stop smoking for me but he didn't stop and that was 4 months ago! He will have about 4 or more cigarettes a day and sometimes he lies to me and tells me he only had one when I find out he had about 4 or more. Please help.

(M98) Here is my story,

I started to smoke at 13 years old. Both of my parents smoked all my life. Of my four siblings only one does not smoke. So out of a family of 7 people, 6 smoke. I've tried to quit so many times in so many ways that I've lost count. My husband is the kind of smoker who can take it or leave it. He doesn't know how lucky he is.

I've smoked for 26+ years, through both my of my pregnancies (how selfish), inside the house as my young children grew, through colds, the flu, etc. My health paid the price for all those years of smoking. At 38 years of age I had an aorta/bi-femoral bi-pass graph done 7 months ago. It was awhile before I was back on my feet. Unfortunately the graft only last so long. I will need this operation possibly every 10, 15 or 20 years. The doctors don't know how long it last for each individual.

Why is it legal for cigarettes to be sold? How can the government allow people to be trapped by this deadly, disgusting and demoralizing addiction. We truly live in a society where money is the most important issue! People are dying horrible deaths and the tobacco companies just get richer. W. B.

(M05) I'm 18 and I have been smoking for six years and I have tried everything to quit. It has caused a great deal of pain and doctor visits. Anonymous

(M21)Dear NV
I've been a Copenhagen user for the last 20 years. It totally controls my life. I have ulcers, swallowing problems, the beginning of cancer in my mouth, and I have been trying to quit for the last two years.
Sincerely, J.R.S.

(M27) To whom it may concern:
I am addicted to cigarettes. I feel horrible about it and it scares me.
I have been an active smoker since I was 15. I am now 22. I am from an upper middle class family. I should have known better.

Now I am addicted. I take the majority of the blame. However, peer pressure and the Marlboro ads (especially the later) have a lot to do with it.

What can I do to stop this for the next generation. I believe people have the right, but should be educated not to smoke. I don't think the answer for anything is limiting the rights of a free people, rather stop the behavior through education and public intolerance of bad behavior. Thank you, J. M. C.(The first thing nicotine did to you was take away your right not to be addicted NV)

(M31) My name is Cathy. Smoking was killing me. I'd wake up in the middle of the night, not able to catch my breath, and my chest would hurt so much from all the coughing I was doing.

I very much resent the hold that the nicotine habit had over me. I still do crave them. But when I think about how I am able to breathe again, and now my apartment no longer smells of tobacco, I am grateful that I finally had the courage to quit.

I've been smoking since I was 15 years old. Not everyday of those 36 years, but most of them. I no longer have to light one up every 20 mins. or so. I got tired of always finding holes in my new clothes. I got tired of being afraid of running out of cigarettes in the middle of the nights, and trying to smoke the butts. That's why I chose not to continue to kill myself. I hate the habit, and I hate what it did to me.

I know I have a long way to go before I am completely healed from my harming myself, but for now, I am glad I quit. I think the biggest problem for smokers, is the fact that they are so scared to quit. I know I was. I was afraid of what stopping smoking would do to me. This has been my identity for so long, who is Cathy when she doesn't have a cigarette in her hand? I was afraid to find out.

What a coward I was. I now like who I am. I'm in love with the fact that my home is now smoke free, and that I do not smell like a stale ashtray. The withdrawal was a problem, and I still get those cravings, but I believe I can wait five minutes for that craving to go away.

I do feel like I am a victim of nicotine, but it was all my own fault. I was raised believing that no one should smoke, and when I picked it up at fifteen, I consider that as my rebellion. I really got hooked on sneaking away from home to do a habit that I knew my mother would be appalled at. I wish I had a stronger character not to have picked up that first cigarette that led to thirty-six years of pure hell. Thank you for the information of your website. (Disobeying your parents and starting to use nicotine is a typical teenage behavior and may have been a typical "character flaw". Shortly thereafter the nicotine took over and character was no longer a factor. NV)

22) I just visited your web site and enjoyed it very much. I am writing to see if you would consider linking to a site that is maintained by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (smokesignals.org). Their site contains photographs of lung-reduction surgery, video testimony from a woman in her twenties who is suffering from emphysema and "Smoke Signals" -- e-cards that can be downloaded and sent to family/friends to encourage them to give up smoking.

Thoracic surgeons work in the following areas: cardiac surgery (heart), general thoracic surgery (lung, esophagus, and mediastinum), pediatric thoracic surgery and transplant surgery. They often perform surgery on people suffering from smoking-related diseases. Their message to smokers is: "If you think you look cool smoking, you should see what we see."

Buerger's Disease

(M48) Hello,

My name is M. N. and I am 32 years old and I live in Oklahoma. Just two months ago, I was diagnosed with Buerger's Disease. This rare disease is attributed entirely to cigarette smoking and there is no known cure. It affects approximately 1 in 20,000 smokers.

My medical bills have skyrocketed to around $20,000 at this time and I am totally unable to walk and am totally disabled. One thing that goes around in my mind is I have smoked Marlboro filters for almost 20 years and I never even had a clue that I was going to have my life affected in this way due to smoking cigarettes.


I am a victim of the tobbacco industry. I've smoked for years and now I have what you call (Buerger"S) it is a very bad disease I have lost half a foot plus my toes too it. A the results show it is nicotine related. I have tried so many things to stop smoking but none have worked. I have had 2 massive heartattacks at the same time in one year, can you suggest any way i could stop smoking?

Negative letters

(M002) I started smoking at the age of 16 and am now 40. Our parents, teachers and church leaders were forever warning us against it, and contrary to popular belief, peer pressure was not such a big issue either, because none of my friends, smokers or non-smokers, tried to get me involved in smoking. I always enjoyed smoking, always wished I did not smoke, but seeing as I enjoyed it, I could not see why I should stop.

It is my life, etc. etc. I always admired people who were able to stop, and I have known many people who successfully managed to quit. The problem is, I thought I was too weak to stop by myself. Maybe part of the problem was that I really enjoyed it, and tried to quit more because of other peoples' opinions and wishes than my own.

Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that I chose to smoke, knowing that it was bad for me and for those around me. I cannot in all honesty ever try and lay the blame at tobacco companies or their advertiser's doors. And most people would admit to this, if they were honest with themselves. Regards. B. R., Paraguay

(M008) To whom it may concern:

While generally perplexed and dumbfounded by anyone who chooses to smoke cigarettes, I must take you to task for something.

Obviously, this site is biased and reflects little if any scientific content
- your disclaimer even says so. But, what I'm thoroughly amused by is your contention that Big Tobacco takes away your "right to smoke" because we're all just helpless victims. Wrong.

Any idiot who grew up after the late '60's has been inundated by the
mainstream media and school curriculum with the dangers of smoking
cigarettes. They know full well the possible dangers and risks associated with this activity. If they don't, they probably don't possess the IQ necessary to light a match. Anyway, since they haven't smoked yet, if they choose to start smoking it's still "their right" to do so, however ridiculous this may be. You can't be addicted to something you haven't started consuming yet! The choice may result in physical/physiological addiction, but that does not mean that it's still not a choice!! If you want to get esoteric, blame Hollywood, rock n' roll, or something else. But, don't be so stupid to suggest that people are hooked before they even light up - this is wrong and completely undermines the credibility of what you're trying to do. Which I support - just do it smartly.-gs (The freedom to chose is only lost after nicotine use starts NV)

(M007) Hello,

I have done what you suggested. I stopped for nearly a month actually. I enjoy a cigarette with a cup of coffee or after a meal. Yes, it is an addiction, but it does not take away my choices. I can still CHOOSE TO QUIT. And so can any smoker. Just like any addiction .. one can choose to stop. The Cancer Society wants people to stop smoking. They scream it is an addiction and will kill you. Well, it IS an addiction, and it CAN kill you. But so will stepping of a curb at the wrong time or slipping in ones bathtub. Shall we stop going out of our homes and stop bathing and stop eating anything that is not inspected and passed by the federal government as 100% healthy??? These things will never happen and neither will there ever be a smoke free world. So leave us alone. Give us your warnings and leave it us to choose. Anyone can stop. (An addict has, by definition, lost the ability to make a choice NV)

Thousands of smokers die from NON smoking causes. Have a nice life!!! G. A.

(M0015) Hello,
You state that the opinions of those who read your pages are important to you. Here is one person's opinion.

I am tired of hearing that the tobacco industry has taken away my rights. They haven't. I am tired of hearing how second hand smoke kills non smokers. That is bunk. Tar is the killing agent in cigarettes. Not nicotine. Proven medical fact! Smokers do not exhale tar. They exhale nicotine and not much of that. Non smokers do not die from second hand smoke. I am tired of government and citizens alike who try to force me to live their way.
When government take it upon themselves to govern my personal life and my personal choices, what I do with my own body, my own mind, my own choices they take away a basic freedom. My right to pursue my life as I choose.

Freedom to be a thinking person with free choices should not be taken from this earth. If you do not want to smoke that is your choice.

For my vote. Leave people to choose how they want to live. That is one of the reasons we have this country. Leave me freedom of personal choice and go after bigger game, drug dealers, murderers, gang members and child abusers. Those are issues that need addressing. Not how many cigarettes I smoke in a day.

In simple words. My important opinion is this. Back off and leave us alone.  One persons opinion! (An addict has, by definition, lost the ability to make a choice NV)

(M0062) When people ban together to control personal choices they are advocating a way of life that Hitler would have been proud of. No
one should take it upon themselves to decide my personal choices (nicotine does for most people. NV) are wrong unless I choose to deliberately commit a heinous crime, serial murders, mass murders, etc etc. Smoking should not be a crime.
If you do not choose to eat where I do that is also your choice. You say the smell offends. Well so do many perfumes and men's colognes. Shall we make it unlawful to choose to wear cheap perfume??? You say it is harmful to our health. So is the exhaust from the cars we drive. Shall we ban cars and go back to the horse or walking everywhere? The exhaust from airplanes is harmful.
Shall we go back to sailing ships?? Everything we do today is harmful to health. You start with a smokers choice. When you wipe out that health hazard where will you turn you control next???? Who will be the enemy then?

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