Bill was angry with himself that he ever accepted that first cigarette. "When I was 15, I started smoking. It was a stupid thing I wish I could take back."Bill had diabetes. He learned the hard way that smoking makes diabetes harder to control. At 37, Bill went blind in his left eye from a detached retina—damage to the inner lining of the eye. He also had kidney failure. Two years later, he had his leg amputated due to poor circulation—made worse from smoking. "I lost my leg, and that's when I quit," he said.
Bill's serious health problems changed his life dramatically. Married and the father of four children, he worried that he wouldn't be able to provide for his family. "Smoking is a nasty addiction," he said. "It's not cool, and it doesn't do anybody any good. Don't ever start smoking." Bill died in August 2014 from heart disease. He was 42.
Get email updates
To receive email updates about the Tips From Former Smokers campaign, enter your email address:
- CDC/Office on Smoking and Health
4770 Buford Highway
Atlanta, Georgia 30341-3717