CDC: Tips from Former Smokers -- James' Story

Uploaded by CDCStreamingHealth on 08.06.2012

I started smoking when I was 14 years old.
My dad smoked cigarettes, and he smoked a cigarette
that was popular with all the kids at the time.
So I would go and sneak a cigarette or two
out of his pack and smoke them.
And it was absolutely horrible, but it was cool.
And at some point, I had got an apartment,
and I was so proud of this apartment, because it was so --
it was nice, for what I could get, you know.
And my father was helping me move some stuff over.
And he was having trouble carrying --
it still bothers me to say this, but he was having trouble
carrying this wicker chair upstairs.
You know, and in a very short period after that, he was gone.
And it was -- it was sort of devastating to me, him dying,
because, um, I had been taught that he was this...
you know, man of men.
"No man is as great as your dad."
And to see him just reduced like that,
it was almost like, "We got to find out what did this."
And, and, and it wasn't something you discussed.
It was just something like, "Why?"
You know, "What could do this to that kind of man?"
And I've always thought that it had to be the smoking.
He didn't have anything else with him.
But toward the end, the doctors had told him
that he couldn't smoke anymore.
He was having a lot of trouble breathing,
and he just lost all of his energy.
He still had his looks, but you didn't see him, you know,
parading around in tank tops and no shirt and everything.
You saw him dressed and everything, you know.
But it wasn't like age.
It was all of a sudden, you know.