Share your story

Tobacco causes over 400,000 preventable deaths per year in the United States, and along with that, billions in unnecessary medical and disability costs.

400,000 deaths is a statistic. One death is a tragedy.  Tell us how tobacco has affected you or your family.

You can share your story anonymously, but please mention where you’re from.

To share your story, click on “Leave a Reply” at the bottom of the page.

Thanks for your participation.

13 thoughts on “Share your story

  1. It has been a rough year. Three of my family members passed away this year. I lost one family member to cancer and one was from a brain hemorrhage but the most was losing my daughter’s mother to emphysema. This was rough on my child. She is seven years old and very resilient like myself. My mother also passed away from emphysema. She was ill four years. She remained in the hospital for months before her passing. She was supposed to come home on August 15, 2007 but passed away on August 13th. She was a smoker and tobacco took her life away. If you smoke, you should quit. It will catch up with you in the long run.

  2. Tobacco has damaged my families life from years of smoking. It infuriates me that the industry makes billions of dollars while our loved ones continue to die.

  3. I didn’t smoke or use tobacco when I headed to Vietnam in 1966. Our unit arrived and the third night our brigade was mortared. That’s when most of the guys in my squad began to smoke cigarettes. It was something about the environment of wondering what happened next. I was smoking about two cartons a month. This went on my whole time in Nam.’ Then I flew home and when I landed in Oakland the first thing I did was kiss the ground. I was back in the world. Then the second thing I did was find a garbage can to throw out the last five packs of cigarettes I had. I said to myself and the Lord, Nam’ didn’t get me and now the cigarettes are gone too. That day was the last day I had a cigarette, 43 years ago.

  4. My mother smoked for 55 years. Sometimes she had two cigarettes going at the same time. She tried to stop with no success. She died after three months in the hospital. She had a hole in her throat with a respirator to help her breathe. Because of smoking, she missed out on her 5 grandchildren growing up. She is really missed by all of us.

  5. I quit smoking 15 years before I was diagnosed with lung cancer. Proof that if you smoke for any length of time, you are not out of the woods as far as cancer is concerned.

  6. My grandfather was diagnosed with throat cancer when I was 10. He can no longer speak. He has a machine that helps him communicate but it is very hard to understand him. He also has had open heart surgery caused by blockages due to smoking. My grandfather also suffers from dementia because of the oxygen deprivation from smoking. I believe he would be much healthier and have a better quality of life if he never smoked. I am from Madison County.

  7. My dad smoked most of his life, starting as a young boy. He quit at one point, as an adult, for almost ten years. A cigar, in celebration, triggered his addiction and he smoked again until diagnosed with cancer.

  8. My dad smoked most of his life, starting as a young boy. He quit at one point as an adult for almost 10 years. A cigar, in celebration, triggered his addiction and he smoked again until diagnosed with cancer.

  9. Dear Cigarettes,

    For over 30 years you have been my friend; my crutch and my severe addiction. I hate you for the thousands of dollars I have wasted on you. I hate you for killing my aunt Midge with cancer; and my aunt Joan and uncle Jack as well. I hate you for the heart disease you gave my father and eventually killed him with too. I hate the way tobacco companies have made so much money from me; while lying and deceiving me and making me believe all I was smoking was rolled up tobacco; when in fact all along they were filling my cigarettes with pure poison that is slowly killing me like it has so many other people, most of which are clueless as to all they put in the damn things. The way other people have looked at me; judged me and condemned me for smoking you; the way it has made me feel bad about myself. The way it makes my clothes and home smell. The poison it has put into people around me inhaling my secondhand smoke. I hate you and I am breaking up with you forever. It is over. I am done. I no longer want you in my life. You have caused me health problems and years of hell. This is my Dear John letter to you cigarettes; because we are done for good and forever. I never want to see you again. I never want to want you again. I never want to buy you again. I do not want anything from you-but for you to stay away from me and my body forever. To stay out of my thoughts, mind, heart, body and soul. I have washed myself clean of you for good. Do not try to come back; do not try to trick me with your withdrawal symptoms; do not try and get me to return because I will not. I am done. Forever. I hate your guts. You ruined my life and many other people’s lives. You are not my friend, you are my worst enemy. I don’t know what I ever saw in you in the first place. You have fooled me for the last time. I will not allow you to steal anymore years of my life away. My life is too precious and too short as it is. You will not take any more years from me ever again. So goodbye forever and good riddens.

  10. After smoking for 40 years, I ended up with lung cancer. I tried, mind you not too hard, to stop, but did attempt it. I stopped when my doctor told me that my bronchitis had returned. I had bronchitis every year, but Auguts 2009, I was diagnosed with lung cancer. The only way you will stop is if you want to, but please use me as an example. I thank God every day that I’m still alive. I was lucky, you may not be. I’m from Canastota, NY

  11. I’m from Rome, NY. When I was 27 (1997) I wanted to quit, but had tried and failed several times before. I was on-again-off-again for several months until one day I just said to myself I’m either going to smoke the rest of my life, or I’m not. There is no middle ground. When I made that my choice, I realized it wasn’t really a choice. I had to quit, or take serious, known risks with my health, short and long term. I had planned on quitting for New Years, but decided not to wait. I quit on December 27th, 1997, and haven’t touched a cigarette since.

  12. My mother smoked while I was growing up. I remember her smoking in the car, at home, and everywhere in the house. I hated be around her when she smoked but I didn’t have a choice. My siblings and I always pressured her to quit smoking although this did not help. Smoking was a part of her life that she was not willing to give up. Ten years later she lost a great friend to lung cancer. The woman was a heavy smoker and lost a tough battle to cancer. She was in her fifties when she passed away. My mom quit smoking then, although she began smoking in secret afterwards. The addiction was so great that she couldn’t give it up. She had quit for a while but went back to smoking although she did not want anyone to know. She would smoke when no one was home, or in the bathroom. Sometimes she smoked in the car too. It was obvious she was fighting the addiction despite losing her friend to cancer. Six years later, after some challenging struggles with the addiction, she has given up smoking. I am proud of her for quitting and making the choice to live a healthier lifestyle.

  13. My friends who thought they were cool as teenage smokers, are now sick, dying or dead, all fighting a terrible addiction their whole lives. I feel bad for choosing not to hang out with some to avoid the secondhand smoke, but that may saved me. It was bad enough watching my grandparents suffer, but now it’s my peers. I wish no one else had to go through this.

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