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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.

African Americans

 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.

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.

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.

JuliaMeet Julia. Julia, 58, lives in Mississippi and started smoking in her early twenties. At age 49, she developed colon cancer. She's had surgery and chemotherapy and has lived with an ostomy bag taped to a hole in her abdomen.

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.

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.

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

American Indians / Alaska Natives

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.

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

Hispanics / Latinos

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.

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.

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.

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.

RoseMeet Rose. Rose lived in Texas and began smoking at age 13. She developed lung cancer that later spread to her brain. After many, many treatments, Rose died in January 2015. She was 60.

Quitting information for Hispanics/Latinos

HIV

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

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT)

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.

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

Military Service Members & Veterans

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.

MarkMeet Mark. Mark, age 47, lives in California and started smoking as a teenager. He continued smoking during military service in the Persian Gulf and in civilian life until he developed rectal cancer at age 42.

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.

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 Military

Pregnant or Planning

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


 

 I'm ready to quit! Free resources provided by Smokefree.gov

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