Memorial Day

Joel
Joel

May 29th, 2000, 8:36 pm #1

It really is amazing how many soldiers from WWI and WWII eventually died from smoking, actually multiples of how many were killed in action. Just to get an idea of the magnitude of the devastation from smoking, this year more Americans will die from smoking, than all American soldiers killed in action in WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam Wars, combined. Every year, more Americans die from smoking than the combined soldiers killed in battle deaths of the 24 years of the 20th Century. Unbelievable.

Smoking really became popular after the distribution to soldiers in WWI then WWII. Soldiers were really the first groups to smoke in large numbers, and were the first group to really start experiencing smoking related effects. Many of the early studies linking smoking to diseases were performed on Vets for they were the first group to be showing significant rates of diseases that prior to their generation were rare or virtually unheard of.

Lung cancer, the first linked to smoking was a rare disease at the turn of the century, now, the #1 cancer death of all sites. Other diseases like heart disease, which were always around, went up significantly in the smoking population.

Being that it is Memorial Day, a day we honor the memory of those who fought so valiantly to protect our freedom, I don't mean to minimize the their efforts by comparing the losses of battle with the losses from smoking. But I just think that the losses from their services were not just experienced at the time of their service. That in fact, many of these young men would never have taken up smoking if not in the situation they found themselves in decades ago. These early smoking experiences addicted them, sentencing them to years and decades of continued smoking. And many of them ended up losing their final battle to diseases caused by their addiction to nicotine. The costs of wars from decades ago are probably still felt daily today by premature loss of family members, but usually go unrecognized.

Hopefully we will never forget the efforts of our soldiers, and the many sacrifices they made to make our world better. And hopefully the lessons we learned from their experiences may help prevent our future generations from making some of the same mistakes leading to such loss. Some lessons are hard for any one person to make a difference alone, governments and whole societies must learn to avoid repetition of events. But one lesson is within every individual realm of control.

We learned from these soldiers the danger of smoking. We learned the addictive nature of what they thought was a harmless product when they first used it. But we also are learning today that many of these soldiers became ex-smokers and are to this day or were to the day they died. Many were victorious over this last vestige of their war. You can be too, to maintain final victory over nicotine, never take another puff!

Joel
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Penny
Penny

May 29th, 2000, 9:11 pm #2

What a wonderful and appropriate post for this Memorial Day. Thanks Joel! Have a great day.

Penny

I have been Quit for: 5M 4W 9h 53m 12s. I have NOT smoked 6349, for a savings of $1,267.34. Life Saved: 3W 1D 1h 5m.
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Joel
Joel

May 30th, 2000, 2:27 am #3

Hello Penny:

Since it was Memorial Day, I thought I would beat the crowds and went to see a new exhibit at our Field Museum. The exhibit is built around the acquisition of the largest and most complete fossil skeleton of a T-Rex ever found, named Sue for the explorer who found her. Even though we got there a little after 8:30 am on a holiday it was still pretty busy. Also caught a temporary exhibit there on the Dead Sea Scrolls, many of the original on display. Pretty interesting.



Just thought I would share how some people around here seem to be spending the holiday. Hope you all are having a good day. Whether you went to a museum or not, you are all learning something new and important today, how to survive through Memorial Day Holiday-a three day weekend, without a cigarette. Important lesson to learn before smoking can lead to your extinction.

Hopefully one day there will be an exhibit at the museum of tobacco and a smoking society, which people will view with awe and amazement. Not really knowing any smoker at that time, the young will wonder how, with so much known about the dangers of such a product, how anyone could have done it.

But you will be around to tell them of the addiction you were once trapped in, successfully overcame, and never looked back with any regrets. You will be able to share with them the lesson of how you beat the addiction by having never take(n) another puff!

Joel
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Joanne Gold
Joanne Gold

May 30th, 2000, 10:54 am #4

Joel, what a wonderful post. You need to write a book young man!

Thanks for the wonderful message.

Have a good week.

Joanne



Ps...when we get back from Florida my boys are looking forward to meeting Sue : ))
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Joel
Joel

November 11th, 2000, 9:46 pm #5

Since today is Veterans Day, I thought I would recycle this post from Memorial Day. The concepts in regards to the smoking aspects still apply.

Joel
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Dana11183
Dana11183

November 11th, 2000, 9:51 pm #6

Thank You Joel.

You know what to say when to say,

Love Ya
Kyra
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LindaO
LindaO

November 12th, 2000, 9:25 pm #7

DITTO
Linda x
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Joanne Gold
Joanne Gold

May 23rd, 2002, 5:02 am #8

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Rickgoldx5
Rickgoldx5

May 23rd, 2002, 5:21 am #9

Last night I was watching The History Channel and they have a stat that during ww2 there was somewhere around 400,000,000 cartons of cigs where given to G.I's
around the world! My dad was in WW2 in the Pacific and smoked for years.
He is now 82 and smoke free for 12yrs.
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Slycat
Slycat

May 23rd, 2002, 5:34 am #10

Hi Joel:

My dad was in World War II. He was on the ships... That is where he started smoking... He used to get his cigarettes for free, the non-filter lucky stripes.. He became a heavy smoker in the Marines when he was a young boy and carried it on with him into his life when he married my mom. He than owned a grocery store and got his cigarettes there for free which I still remember were Benson & Hedges... He smoked almost 4 packs a day and fell asleep in his lounge chair with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. I remember that I use to steal his cigarettes when I was about 14 and that is when I started to smoke. But one day when he was in his late 50's, he quit cold turkey. He got really sick one day with a cold and put his cigarettes down and never picked them up again.... (It's been over 20 years now)...

He can't stand it now. You can't smoke in his house or his car. In his car he has a no-smoking air freshner hanging from the ceiling. He has become probably the worst reform smoker I know. He quit smoking by using hard candies and gum. Now, till this day (he just turned 78), you can find gum and bags of hard candies everywhere when you go visit him. I know at that time when he quit, there was no support group and nobody told my father what to do, so I give him credit because I don't think I could of done it without Freedom....

In his lifetime, he has survived bladder cancer and a heart attack. Sometimes I wonder if that was due to the heavy smoking he had done in his life... I guess I'll never know....

But Cheers to Memorial Day and all the People that fought in that war.......Including my father....

Judy
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Joel
Joel

November 11th, 2002, 8:09 pm #11

Today is Veterans Day here in America and I thought I would recycle this post from Memorial Day. The concepts in regards to the smoking aspects still apply.

Joel
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Joel
Joel

May 28th, 2004, 6:43 pm #12

I was going to wait a few days before bringing this one up but there were a couple of posts today that touched on issues that this article addresses.
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Stormy2687
Stormy2687

May 28th, 2004, 7:19 pm #13

I agree with Penny, Have a great weekend and thanks for your wonderful posts. They are most helpful.
Smokeless for 2 wks 2 days 36 min 10 sec and counting.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

May 31st, 2004, 8:40 pm #14

Monday, May 31, 2004
World No Tobacco Day and Memorial Day

Ft. Worth, Texas USA In memory of lives given for tobacco
Monday May 31, 2004

By O.K. Carter[/size]
Star-Telegram Staff Writer[/size]

Today being Memorial Day, thought I'd drop by a cemetery in Fort Worth to share some thoughts with two who have fallen. Maybe leave a few flowers.

Though one of them was a veteran, in this case the memorial won't be about wars or flying the flag.

One of these two died with a tumor the size of a grapefruit in his lungs, malignancy creeping through his spine and liver.

It was not pleasant.

The other died of a combination of congestive heart failure and general vascular failings, small strokes building, slowly taking away mind and will until a final failure killed her.

It was not pleasant, either.

Tobacco killed them both. Did I mention that in addition to Memorial Day, this is also World No Tobacco Day? This is fitting in that the millions of people who have died because of tobacco make World War II look like a blip on the mortality graph.

According to the nonprofit Tobacco Free Initiative, tobacco is the second major cause of death in the world, responsible for the death of one in 10 adults worldwide -- about 5 million deaths each year.

If current patterns continue, it will cause some 10 million deaths each year by 2025. Half the people who smoke today - about 650 million people -- will eventually be killed, one way or another, by tobacco.

Tobacco, too, contributes to poverty, particularly in less affluent parts of the world where families spend money on their addiction instead of food, medicine or education.

I would indulge in the usual diatribe here, accusing everybody in the tobacco industry of legalized drug pandering, wholesale lying and premeditated mass murder. It would all be true, too. But it would also be true that the two people at whose graves I will stand today were warned repeatedly that the two to three packs of cigarettes they were smoking each day represented suicide, inch by burning carcinogen inch. But they loved the habit, grew dependent on the feel of nicotine coursing through their veins.

First they denied those warning labels, then told themselves that switching to filters and menthol would make everything just fine. They were not without some responsibility for the consequences.

One of them even quit, eventually, though that was after his doctor advised that it was time to put his affairs in order. As if stopping cold turkey would stop the death raging through his body. As if it could reverse 60 years of addiction.

The other never stopped. When she died there was a half-pack of cigarettes still in her purse.

And so, for me, this Memorial Day will be just about remembering them. If they were alive they'd probably laugh about World No Tobacco Day and light up. So maybe I'll bum a cigarette from somebody and leave it with the flowers.

But before I leave, I'll ask them a question: Mom and Dad, was it really worth it?


O.K. Carter's column appears Sunday, Monday and Thursday. Carter also co-hosts P3: People, Politics and Possibilities at 9:30 nightly on Comcast cable Channel 13.
(817) 548-5428, [url=mailto:okc@star-telegram.com]okc@star-telegram.com[/url]

Copyright Star-Telegram 2004 - All Rights Reserved
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Joel
Joel

November 11th, 2005, 9:38 pm #15

Just recycling what has become my Memorial Day/Veterans Day post.
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abigailjess
abigailjess

November 12th, 2005, 1:08 am #16

This message has been deleted by the author.
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abigailjess
abigailjess

November 12th, 2005, 1:34 am #17

Here in Australia, we call this day Rememberance Day. On this day as in many countries we honour the brave men & women who fought & died for their countries, we observe one minute silence at 11am preceded by the haunting sounds of the Last Post and followed by "The Rouse"

My Dad returned from the 2nd world war fit & healthy, but he died 35yrs later still a youngster at 65. He smoked Rothmans continuously, burnt holes in everything; his pillow, his mattress, the lounge, even the carpet!! He was a very sick man for the last 10yrs of his life, suffering with diabetes, high blood pressure, and an enlarged heart, he had 3 heart attacks & 3 strokes which left him virtually incapacitated for the final 6 yrs of his life. He kept on smoking right up till the day cigarettes killed him.

On this day, I remember & honour all servicemen & women; but I also remember the day my dad was laid to rest & I see the Australian flag draped over his coffin & a bugler playing the Last Post for him. My dad was honoured for his service to the country but his longest & toughest battle was not the battle of war but living with & fighting the devastating effects of years of smoking cigarettes.

On the day my dad died 30yrs ago, my two brothers and I vowed to give up smoking...my brothers who both had heart attacks in their 30's still chain smoke & are both tragically showing signs of its debilitating effects. With the help of Freedom & Why Quit I have not had a cigarette for over a year...Thank You.
Abby- One Year, One Month, Ten Days, 3 Hours and 30 Minutes of Freedom
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Joel
Joel

May 3rd, 2006, 3:19 am #18

A member was looking for strings that related to soldiers and smoking.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

May 28th, 2007, 1:33 pm #19

Smoking on Rise Among
U.S. Troops in Iraq
Health officials are concerned that the smoking rate among the more than 140,000 U.S. troops in Iraq is skyrocketing, as more soldiers use cigarettes to combat stress, boredom, and loneliness, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Aug. 29.

Although the Department of Defense has no figures on the smoking rates among deployed troops, returning personnel report high smoking rates. Dennis Amundson, a Navy captain and pulmonologist who returned from Iraq in July 2003, said the number of soldiers and Marines he saw smoking "was shocking."

"The cigarette became important to them," said Amundson, a member of the board of the American Lung Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties.

In addition to providing comfort, Amundson said cigarette smoking is a social activity among soldiers.

Health officials said informing soldiers that their increased smoking could lead to serious health problems later in life is a tough sell, because the reality is that combat troops are more worried about making it alive to tomorrow.

Debra Kelley, vice president of government relations for the California Lung Association, said the military should address the problem by making cigarettes more expensive and less socially acceptable.

"That's part of the challenge that the military has not risen to," she said.

According to military officials, smoking is prohibited in barracks and in military offices. In addition, smoking-cessation programs are available.
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starbirder.ffn
starbirder.ffn

November 12th, 2007, 9:28 pm #20

Veterans Day brings back so many memories to my husband.
He retired after a 20+ year career in the military.
He remembers that while serving in Korean War & especially in Vietnam War that the company's were issued large sundry boxes containing cartons of cigarettes, writing paper and envelopes, pens, etc and handed out to the troops.
He said cigs were also the main trading itemand most everyone "smoked" something.
When he returned to state-side in the 70's the boxes were no longer available, but "weeds" as they called them, were very cheap in the military stores and the clubs & most areas of base were filled with smoke & butts. Luckly he never "inhaled".
He saw so many of his men coughing and trying to breathe while ill from smoking related deseases, the VA Hopitals too are filled with these older soldiers.
A sad time for these older brave men & women.
Support the Troops, don't give them smokes, give them a support system to help them stop using!!!!

Star, Free and healing from nicotine for 121 days.
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

May 25th, 2012, 10:30 pm #21

Being that this weekend is typically considered the beginning of the summer holiday season

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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

May 25th, 2013, 12:41 pm #22

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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

May 28th, 2016, 5:21 pm #23

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