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Real Stories by Specific Group

The individuals below are participating in the Tips From Former Smokers Campaign. All of them have been affected by cigarette smoke. Some are former smokers and some have never smoked. Almost all of them are living with smoking-related diseases and disabilities. These diseases and disabilities changed the quality of their lives — some dramatically — including how they eat, dress and do daily tasks. Some had to give up activities they once loved to do. They speak from experience and agreed to share their stories with you, to send a single, powerful message: Quit smoking now. Or better yet — don't ever start.

Also view stories by Name or by Disease/Condition.

For additional groups and detailed information, please visit the For Specific Groups page.


African Americans

Meet AnnetteMeet Annette. Annette, age 57, lives in New York and began smoking in her teens. At age 52, she was diagnosed with lung cancer, which required removal of one of her lungs. She was later diagnosed with oral cancer.


Meet JamasonMeet Jamason. Jamason, age 18, lives in Kentucky. He was an infant when he was diagnosed with asthma. When people smoke around him, the secondhand smoke can trigger life-threatening asthma attacks.


Meet JamesMeet James. James, age 48, lives in New York and began smoking at age 14. He quit smoking in 2010 to reduce his risk for health problems and now bikes 10 miles every day.


Meet MarieMeet Marie. Marie, age 62, lives in New York and began smoking in high school. Diagnosed with Buerger's disease in her forties, Marie has undergone amputations of part of her right foot, her left leg, and several fingertips.


Meet RooseveltMeet Roosevelt. Roosevelt, age 51, lives in Virginia and began smoking in his teens. At age 45, he had a heart attack. Doctors later placed stents in his heart and performed six bypasses.


Meet TiffanyMeet Tiffany. Tiffany, age 35, lives in Louisiana. She started smoking at 19, even though her mother, a smoker, died of lung cancer. Tiffany quit smoking — wanting to be around for her own teenage daughter.



Quitting information for African Americans

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American Indians / Alaska Natives

Meet MichaelMeet Michael Michael, age 57, lives in Alaska and began smoking at age 9. At 44, he was diagnosed with COPD — chronic obstructive pulmonary disease — which makes it harder and harder to breathe and can cause death.


Meet NathanMeet Nathan Nathan lived in Idaho. A member of the Oglala Sioux tribe, he was exposed to secondhand smoke at work that caused permanent lung damage and triggered asthma attacks so severe he had to leave his job. His illness led to his death on October 17, 2013. He was 54.



Quitting information for American Indians/Alaska Natives

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Hispanics / Latinos

Meet BeatriceMeet Beatrice. Beatrice, age 40, lives in New York and began smoking regularly at age 13. A mother of two, she quit smoking in 2010 because she wanted to be around for her family.


Meet FelicitaMeet Felicita. Felicita, age 54, lives in Florida and began smoking at age 12. She didn't know smoking could harm her gums and teeth. She lost all her teeth by age 50.


Meet JessicaMeet Jessica. Jessica, age 28, lives in New York and has never smoked. Her son, Aden, was diagnosed with asthma at age 3, and exposure to secondhand smoke has triggered asthma attacks.


Meet MarianoMeet Mariano. Mariano, 55, lives in Illinois. He started smoking at 15. In 2004, he had open heart surgery and barely escaped having a heart attack. He quit smoking — grateful for a second chance at life.


Meet RoseMeet Rose. Rose, age 59, lives in Texas and began smoking at age 13. She's had surgery twice for cancer. "I regret picking up smoking in the first place," she said.



Quitting information for Hispanics/Latinos

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HIV

Meet BrianMeet Brian. Brian, age 45, lives in California and has HIV. At 14, he started smoking. At 43, smoking, combined with HIV, caused him to have a stroke. He quit that day and hopes to regain full use of his right hand.



Quitting information for those who are HIV positive

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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT)

Meet BrianMeet Brian. Brian, age 45, lives in California and has HIV. At 14, he started smoking. At 43, smoking, combined with HIV, caused him to have a stroke. He quit that day and hopes to regain full use of his right hand.


Meet EllieMeet Ellie. Ellie, age 57, lives in Florida and never smoked. At 35, she started having asthma attacks triggered from breathing secondhand smoke at work. The severe attacks forced her to leave a job she loved.



Quitting information for LGBT

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Military Service Members & Veterans

Meet JamesMeet James. James, age 48, lives in New York and began smoking at age 14. He quit smoking in 2010 to reduce his risk for health problems and now bikes 10 miles every day.


Meet MichaelMeet Michael. Michael, age 57, lives in Alaska and began smoking at age 9. At 44, he was diagnosed with COPD — chronic obstructive pulmonary disease — which makes it harder and harder to breathe and can cause death.


Meet NathanMeet Nathan. Nathan lived in Idaho. A member of the Oglala Sioux tribe, he was exposed to secondhand smoke at work that caused permanent lung damage. His illness led to his death on October 17, 2013 at age 54.



Quitting information for Military

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Pregnant or Planning

Meet AmandaMeet Amanda. Amanda, age 30, lives in Wisconsin and began smoking in fifth grade. She smoked during pregnancy, and her baby was born 2 months early. Her tiny girl spent weeks in an incubator.



Quitting information for those who are pregnant or planning

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