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GrumpyGhostOwl GrumpyGhostOwl is a Female
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In the early hours of Christmas Eve, one of my best friends died.

She was only 65.

It was the third time she had been admitted to Emergency by way of an ambulance.

My friend had undergone surgery a couple of years ago to amputate her left leg well above the knee. The cause was a smoking related blood clot.

My friend had asthma as well as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and was wheelchair-bound. She refused to even consider giving up smoking.

The Monday before Christmas, while in hospital for another issue she suffered a stroke from which she did not recover. She left behind her two sons and many, many friends who all miss her.

In 2014, I lost my husband to smoking related cancer. In 2015, a respected friend and colleague died of complications of smoking related COPD. Now I have lost another person I cared about to smoking related disease.

When you smoke, you choose your addiction over your loved ones. There's enough education around that nobody can really plead ignorance of the risks.

I watched my friend's sons say goodbye to their mother long before they should have. They were utterly distraught.

Sure, it's your right to choose to smoke. It's your body and your money so go for it if that's what you want.

Just remember that after you're gone, your loved ones will grieve, not only for the loss of you, but for the stupid, tragic cruel fact that they should have had more time with you. They will grieve for the fact that they weren't as important to you as the cigarettes. That you chose smoking over them.

You won't be sad: you'll be gone. The people you presumably love will be the sad ones.

You won't have to grieve. They will.

You won't have to deal with sorting out your estate, your mortgage, your loans, your bank account, the utilities and the funeral. They will.

You won't burst into tears at random triggers for the next few years or have to explain to the children why you're sad at Christmas and birthdays. You'll be beyond all that. The ones you leave behind will have to pick up the pieces of their lives without you and struggle on.

Think about that the next time you light up. Maybe it will help you quit.

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ElectricWhite ElectricWhite is a Female
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I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, GGO.

If I could add: when you smoke around others, you're are also endangering their lives, too. My dad started smoking during the Korean War and kept it up for 50 years; a quadruple bypass got him to stop for a couple of years, but he started again on 9/11. He finally quit a couple of years after that because of COPD -- he decided the cigarettes weren't worth the pain. Anyway, I've had asthma for most of my life (yet another thing that runs rampant in my mom's family), but that wasn't enough for Dad to quit -- he wouldn't even go outside to do it! So a lot of my childhood was spent almost constantly having asthma attacks. (At one point, his mom told him, "The few times I smoked, I did it behind the shed so I wouldn't poison my kids!" BTW, nobody knew she ever smoked...I guess there were very few times!)

I agree with you totally -- nicotine addiction is one of the most insidious kinds. It is a weapon of mass destruction. And you've suffered considerably because of it. We're all hanging in there for you.

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Katblu42 Katblu42 is a Female
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GGO my heart goes out to you. So sorry to hear you lost your friend.

Hubby was a heavy smoker - it was the most likely cause of the cancers that ultimately took him.

BOO, HISS to nicotine addiction.

Smokers - please quit! I know it's incredibly hard, but watching a loved one continue to do something you both know is so, so bad for them is not a fun experience.

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Ebonyswanne Ebonyswanne is a Female
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I'm sorry for your loss GGO.

Your words ring true about smoking. My Grandma had serious lung issues caused from passive smoke. She was the only non-smoker in her home. She was on ventilators because of other peoples habits.

I was turned off the idea of it when I was a teenager, my Great Aunty was a seriously heavy smoker into her 70s. The stench and the yellow skin, her constant medical issues and cough was enough of a message.

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Daniella T Daniella T is a Female
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Sending hugs GGO, very sorry for your loss! I wish you could spread this message even further.

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