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Mariano’s Story

"I was given a second chance to live," says Mariano, who is Hispanic and lives in Illinois. He started smoking at 15. In 2004, Mariano woke up one morning feeling sick and dizzy. He was sweating a lot. He went to the doctor, who told him his blood pressure was extremely high. He was hospitalized that day. Three days later, he had open heart surgery to replace blocked blood vessels in his heart. "I smoked my last cigarette the day I was told I needed heart surgery." He hasn't smoked since.

After his hospitalization, Mariano, who loves to cook, noticed that food tasted better and that he had more energy. "I had a wake-up call, and now I feel good." He plans to keep it that way.

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Mariano: Fortunate to have a second chance

Mariano smoked for 30 years. One day he woke up and felt dizzy and nauseous. “I didn’t know what was happening to me and started sweating.” Mariano needed open heart surgery to save his life. In this video from the CDC’s Tips from Former Smokers™ campaign he says: “I was fortunate to have a second chance at life.” Mariano hopes that others don’t risk their health and stop smoking today.

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