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Peter Jennings example here was the most high profile case I can remember of a famous person relapsing after being off for many years. No one should think though that this is a rare occurrence. At almost every clinic I do I will get multiple year quitters who relapsed, and people who are off for 5, 10, 15 or 20 year time periods are not uncommon. Since 2000 I had two people who were once off for over 35 years before relapsing.On April 5, 2005, he appeared, haggard and hoarse, for the for final time on television and explain what happened. "Yes, I was a smoker until about twenty years ago and I was weak and I smoked over 9/11." It is unclear how much he relapsed in the year since but he was still addicted and known to retreat into the bathroom for a furtive smoke. He began coughing and feeling fatigued last fall, but was not diagnosed until March. His cancer was inoperable, though he tried chemotherapy and experimental radiation.