Marie lives in New York and began smoking in high school with her friends. They would congregate regularly to smoke the cigarettes they took from family members. Marie smoked for 40 years, although she tried several times to stop. She would quit smoking for up to 9 months at a time, but something—an issue at work or a problem with the kids—would inevitably trigger a relapse.
In 1993, in her early forties, she was diagnosed with Buerger’s disease, a disorder linked to tobacco use that causes blood vessels in the hands and feet to become blocked and can result in infection or gangrene. Over time, parts of Marie’s body, such as her feet, fingertips, and lower legs, required amputation. Marie has been smoke-free since 2006.