Ponca City, OK

My father smoked since high school age. He could smoke more than two packs a day. Same for my mother. Of five children, three have asthma to this day. I had pneumonia every winter as a child. When I was away at college, I was hospitalized for five days after a holiday at home from pneumonia. The internalist said my lungs looked like a 40-year-old smoker. He suggested I should not move back home. I still have damaged lungs to this day. There were times I could not go visit my dad when I was having trouble breathing. Other times I would get sick after visiting.

My father quit smoking when a questionable spot was found on his lungs. He quit smoking. He started using the nicotine tablets and became addicted. He could go through two tubes a day sometimes. Besides other complications from too much nicotine, the nicotine made his artery and vein walls so thin that one of them burst. The doctors tried to repair the damage but said the artery wall was like tissue paper and ripped at each stitch. They bypassed the artery, but my father never recovered because there was too much damage. So much unhappiness just from smoking cigarettes.