Smoking and Circulation

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

10 Aug 2005, 20:10 #31

The news media this week is going all out on covering lung cancer, due to the recent death of Peter Jennings and now the announcement of Christopher Reeve's widow, a non-smoker, of getting diagnosed with lung cancer.

You can hear the angst and frustrations of many in these reports as to why there are not better diagnostic tests and treatments for lung cancer. Hopefully there will be one day, but no person should hang their hopes high that a diagnostic test or a cutting edge treatment that will save most lung cancer victims is just around the corner.

The best chance we have today to greatly reduce the number of new cases of lung cancer and to reduce the death rate from lung cancer is to get people to not smoke. No smoker should lose sight of this.

One other important issue needs to be mentioned here. If somehow miraculously someone came up with a magic cure for lung cancer that was immediately available today--the majority of people who are dying from smoking would still die. Lung cancer is not the disease that causes the most premature deaths from smoking. Cardiovascular deaths still out number lung cancer deaths, plus there are a slew of other conditions that smokers die prematurely from other than lung cancer.

The only way to minimize your chance of dying prematurely from all smoking induced illnesses is to make and stick to a personal commitment to never take another puff.

Last edited by Joel on 14 Feb 2015, 14:52, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

13 Jan 2006, 12:02 #32

Smoking Among Adults: Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke
  • Coronary heart disease and stroke-the primary types of cardiovascular disease caused by smoking-are the first and third leading causes of death in the United States. More than 61 million Americans suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, and other conditions. More than 2,600 Americans die every day because of cardiovascular diseases, about 1 death every 33 seconds. (p. 363)
  • Toxins in the blood from smoking cigarettes contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a progressive hardening of the arteries caused by the deposit of fatty plaques and the scarring and thickening of the artery wall. Inflammation of the artery wall and the development of blood clots can obstruct blood flow and cause heart attacks or strokes. (p. 364-365)
  • Smoking causes coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. Coronary heart disease results from atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries. (p. 384, 407)
  • In 2003, an estimated 1.1 million Americans had a new or recurrent coronary attack. (p. 384)
  • Cigarette smoking has been associated with sudden cardiac death of all types in both men and women. (p. 387)
  • Smoking-related coronary heart disease may contribute to congestive heart failure. An estimated 4.6 million Americans have congestive heart failure and 43,000 die from it every year. (p. 387)
  • Smoking low-tar or low-nicotine cigarettes rather than regular cigarettes appears to have little effect on reducing the risk for coronary heart disease. (p. 386, 407)
  • Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Cigarette smoking is a major cause of strokes. (p. 393)
  • The U.S. incidence of stroke is estimated at 600,000 cases per year, and the one-year fatality rate is about 30%. (p. 393)
  • The risk of stroke decreases steadily after smoking cessation. Former smokers have the same stroke risk as nonsmokers after 5 to 15 years. (p. 394)
  • Smoking causes abdominal aortic aneurysm. (p. 397)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2004.

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and has negative health impacts on people at all stages of life. It harms unborn babies, infants, children, adolescents, adults, and seniors. Source Document: ... eets/3.htm
Public Domain
Last edited by John (Gold) on 01 Mar 2009, 16:22, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 16 Jan 2003, 08:00

03 Mar 2006, 02:21 #33

For Jo, who was smart enough to quit.

From above:
One condition though stands out as being truly unique and in many ways, demonstrates the real addictive nature of nicotine better than any other cause. The condition is known as Buerger's Disease (thromboangiitis obliterans.) Buerger's Disease is a condition where there is a complete cutoff of circulation to the finger or toes, resulting in gangrene.

The most common age bracket that this disease strikes is in people between the ages of 20 to 40, normally young to get circulation problems that result in amputations. While it is much more common in men, women are affected to. What makes Bueger's Disease unique is that it is a disease that is basically exclusive to smokers. There are almost no documented cases of this disease happening in a non-smoker. Smoking is the primary etiologic factor. This is a rare disease, but noteworthy because of this unique nature of happening only in smokers.

If a smoker gets lung cancer, the person and other people can sometimes think, "well non-smokers sometimes get lung cancer too, maybe cigarettes didn't cause it." Same thing with heart attacks or strokes, non-smokers get them too, smokers just get them much more often. But again a certain level of denial can be exhibited and there is no way to conclusively prove that cigarette did it. But Buerger's Disease, having no other known cause and basically never happening in non-smokers does not lend itself to such denials. When a doctor determines he or she is dealing with a Buerger's Disease patient, a basic ultimatum is going to be delivered-quit smoking or lose your limb-your choice! If we were dealing with simply a bad habit, how many people given such an ultimatum and knowing it is true would continue doing the particular behavior given such consequences?

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

05 Apr 2006, 23:02 #34

Good stuff. Perhaps I'm imagining, but I swear my hands and feet are not blocks of ice anymore.

Joined: 16 Jan 2003, 08:00

14 Apr 2006, 05:53 #35

The truth about smoking. Smoking ruins lives. Ours and our family's.
Never take another puff!

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

24 Apr 2006, 23:00 #36

This is one of my most favorite threads here. I never really thought about circulation before. On this chilly rainy "Spring" Day, my hands are warm as can be.

Three weeks, six days, 1 minute and 24 seconds. 1080 cigarettes not smoked, saving $297.01. Life saved: 3 days, 18 hours, 0 minutes.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

13 Oct 2006, 05:46 #37

If you read this article you will see how the oxygen demands of the heart are increased because of carbon monoxide exposure from smoking. If a person has lung problems, this even creates a more dangerous scenario, for the lungs have to work get more oxygen to the heart to meet the hearts increased oxygen demands. The lungs are semi-impaired in getting meeting the oxygen demands. The blood is having a harder time carrying the oxygen. This means the heart as to work harder, to get more blood and more oxygen to itself, because it is working harder. It is a vicious and deadly circle that will stop the day you quit smoking and will never be repeated as long as you stick to a personal commitment to never take another puff.


Joined: 16 Jan 2003, 08:00

05 Jan 2007, 09:27 #38

By quitting you are most probably extending and improving the quality of the rest of your life!

Never take another puff, no nicotine today, one day at a time.

Joined: 16 Jan 2003, 08:00

29 Mar 2007, 06:06 #39

From: Cindy K Sent: 3/28/2007 9:12 AM
Thank you for bringing this up front again. This is a real biggie for me.
To have it brought up today was really neat since I TURNED GREEN TODAY!!!!

My Doctor had told me years ago that she thought I had Buergers Disease. I'm not sure if I really have it or if it is just circulation problems. My hands and feet were always cold and at times it was almost like you could see my veins running thru my arms and legs, they were so purple! My toes were very touchy and would hurt toe nails also started looking very bad the last year or so.
But, that didn't convince me to quit....I really started getting serious about getting in shape and started a new workout. I could handle the workout physically but, I would have to stop because I couldn't catch my breath.
That really bothered me. So, after doing nicotine lozenges and trying to cut back and all that. I finally found this site and read, and read, and read some more.
When I knew I was ready...I stopped smoking. It has been the single hardest thing that I have ever done....and the most rewarding. I am so proud of myself!
I'm working out in the mornings now. I have the time and the energy now.
My breathing is still and issue but my toes don't hurt and my nails are already looking much better.
I have no doubt that if I wouldn't have stopped smoking that I would be one of those people who would have lost toes, feet, my legs....and, probably my life, much too early!

Thank you for being here for me!
My Quit Date 2/28/07. I have been Free & Healing for One Month, 4 Hours and 12 Minutes, while extending my life 1 Day and 15 Hours, by avoiding the use of 479 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $89.91.

Edited for brand name

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

14 Sep 2007, 18:49 #40

Potentially Reduced Exposure Cigarettes Accelerate Atherosclerosis: Evidence for the Role of Nicotine

Cardiovascular Toxicology
DOI 10.1007/s12012-007-0027-z
Daniel F. Catanzaro Ying Zhou Rong Chen Fangmin Yu Sarah E. Catanzaro Mariana S. De Lorenzo Kotha Subbaramaiah Xi Kathy Zhou Domenico Pratico Andrew J. Dannenberg Babette B. Weksler


The tobacco industry markets potentially reduced exposure products (PREPs) as less harmful or addictive alternatives to conventional cigarettes. This study compared the effects of mainstream smoke from Quest, Eclipse, and 2R4F reference cigarettes on the development of atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE -/-) mice. Mice were exposed to smoke from four cigarette 18 types for 12 weeks beginning at age of 12 weeks, and in a separate study for 8 weeks, beginning at age of 8 weeks. In both studies, mice exposed to smoke from high-nicotine, high-tar Quest 1, and 2R4F cigarettes developed greater areas of lipid-rich aortic lesions than did non-smoking controls. Exposure to smoke from the lower-nicotine products, Eclipse, and Quest 3, was associated with smaller lesion areas, but animals exposed to smoke from all of the tested types of cigarette had larger lesions than did control animals not exposed to smoke. Urinary levels of isoprostane F2 alpha VI, increased proportionally to cigarette nicotine yield, whereas induction of pulmonary cytochrome P4501A1 was proportional to tar yield. Lesion area was associated with both nicotine and tar yields, although in multiple regression analysis only nicotine was a significant predictor of lesion area. Smoke exposure did not alter systolic blood pressure (SBP), heart rate (HR), blood cholesterol, or leukocyte count. Taken together, these observations suggest that smoking may accelerate atherosclerosis by increasing oxidative stress mediated at least in part via the actions of nicotine.


Isoprostane - Oxidative stress - cytochrome - P450 - Sympathetic nervous system - Complete blood count ... y=journals [NIMI 12-9-07]

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Sep 2007, 22:13 #41

Men who smoke risk erectile dysfunction: study
September 26, 2007
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Otherwise healthy men who smoke risk developing erectile dysfunction -- and the more cigarettes they smoke, the greater the risk of erectile dysfunction, according to a new study.

Erectile dysfunction is the consistent inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance. In a study of 4,763 Chinese men aged 35 to 74 years who were free of blood vessel disease and who reported that they had been sexually active within the last 6 months, the researchers found a significant statistical link between the number of cigarettes smoked and the likelihood of erectile dysfunction.

"The association between cigarette smoking and erectile dysfunction was found in earlier studies," said first author Dr. Jiang He of Tulane University School of Public Health, New Orleans. "However, most of those studies were conducted in patients with hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes and cardiovascular disease. What distinguishes this study is that it is the first to find this association among healthy men."

Overall, men who smoked had a 41-percent greater risk of erectile dysfunction than men who did not, the team reports in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

And there was a clear "dose-response" relationship, meaning that the more the men smoked, the higher was their risk of erectile dysfunction. Compared with non-smokers, men who smoked up to 10 cigarettes per day had a 27-percent greater likelihood of erectile dysfunction ; those who smoked 11 to 20 butts a day had a 45-percent greater likelihood of erectile dysfunction; and those who smoked more than 20 cigarettes daily had a-65 percent greater chance of suffering erectile dysfunction.

The investigators estimate that 22.7 percent of erectile all dysfunction cases among healthy Chinese men - or 11.8 million cases -- might be caused by cigarette smoking.

And even when cigarette smokers quit, their risk of developing erectile dysfunction did not decrease. The risk of erectile dysfunction was statistically about the same for former cigarette smokers as for current cigarette smokers, the authors found.

"This study really has a strong message for young men," He said. "It may get their attention if they know that smoking is associated with erectile dysfunction -- even in the healthy population."

"So the message is: Don't start."

SOURCE: American Journal of Epidemiology, October 1, 2007.

Online story link:
© 2007 Reuter's Health. All rights reserved.
© 1996-2007 Scientific American, Inc. All rights reserved.

Joined: 16 Jan 2003, 08:00

29 Dec 2007, 09:28 #42

Last edited by Sal GOLD.ffn on 01 Mar 2009, 17:03, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Jul 2008, 06:22 #43

Patterns of smoking cessation in the first 3 years
after stroke: the South London Stroke Register
European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, June 2008, Volume 15(3), Pages 329-335.

Authors: Ives SP, Heuschmann PU, Wolfe CD, Redfern J.
Division of Health & Social Care Research, Kingʼs College London, London, UK.


BACKGROUND: Stroke survivors are at high risk of recurrent strokes and other vascular events. Smoking is an established risk factor for stroke, with cessation recommended for secondary prevention. Little is known about patterns of smoking cessation after stroke.

DESIGN: A prospective cohort of patients was identified.

METHODS: Data were derived from the population-based South London Stroke Register. Self-reported smoking status was measured at the time of stroke, at 3 months, and at 1 and 3 years after stroke. Stroke survivors, who were smoking at the time of stroke and were alive 3 years later, were included. Logistic regression was used to examine associations between age, sex, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, risk factors, stroke subtype, disability, and probability of attempting and maintaining smoking cessation.

RESULTS: Complete smoking data were available for 363 survivors with strokes between 1995 and 2003. In all, 71% of the smokers had attempted to quit within 3 years; 30% had quit and maintained cessation at 1 and 3 years; 10% had quit immediately after stroke, but had subsequently relapsed (smoking again at 1 and 3 years); and 25% of the smokers had quit after 3 months. Black ethnicity [odds ratio (OR): 6.20; confidence interval (CI): 2.39-16.10] and more severe disability (P=0.035) were predictors of attempts to quit. Older age (OR: 0.30; CI: 0.13-0.71) and black ethnicity (OR: 0.30; CI: 0.15-0.60) reduced the likelihood of smoking at 3 years. Among those attempting cessation, being older predicted maintenance (OR: 4.50; CI: 1.50-13.51).

CONCLUSION: The majority of smokers had attempted to quit after stroke; however, a minority achieved sustained cessation in the longer term. Cessation patterns are complex, and interventions should be targeted at multiple time points.

Source Link:

Joined: 13 Nov 2008, 14:04

03 Mar 2009, 15:11 #44

Video Title Dial Up High Speed MP3 Length Created
Heart and circulatory diseases 2.81mb 5.93mb 8.82mb 19:18 11/03/06

Joined: 11 Nov 2008, 19:22

30 Apr 2010, 14:31 #45

Risk Factors for Venous Thromboembolism.
Results From the Copenhagen City Heart Study

Circulation. Published Online on April 19, 2010

Anders G. Holst MD, Gorm Jensen MD, DMSc,  and Eva Prescott MD, DMSc
Background—Studies have suggested a link between risk factors for atherosclerotic disease and venous thromboembolism (VTE), but results are heterogeneous. We sought to identify risk factors for VTE with a focus on risk factors for atherosclerotic disease.
Methods and Results—Data were taken from the Copenhagen City Heart Study, a prospective cohort study of a random, age-stratified sample of people living in a defined area in Copenhagen, Denmark, started in 1976 with follow-up until 2007. First VTE (deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism) diagnosis was retrieved from electronic national registries from study baseline to 2007. Of 18 954 subjects (median follow-up, 19.5 years) representing 360 399 person-years of follow-up, 969 subjects experienced at least 1 VTE, corresponding to a crude incidence rate of 2.69 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.52 to 2.86) per 1000 person-years. The variables found to be significantly associated with VTE in a multivariable model adjusted for age and calendar time were as follows: body mass index (hazard ratio
for ≥35 versus <20=2.10 [95% CI, 1.39 to 3.16]); smoking (HR for ≥25 g tobacco per day versus never smoker=1.52 [95% CI, 1.15 to 2.01]); gender (HR for men versus women=1.24 [95% CI, 1.08 to 1.42]); household income (HR for medium versus low=0.82 [95% CI, 0.70 to 0.95]); and diastolic blood pressure (HR for >100 versus <80 mm Hg=1.34 [95% CI, 1.08 to 1.66]). Other cardiovascular risk factors including total/high-density lipoprotein/low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, and diabetes mellitus were not associated with VTE.[/size][/font]
Conclusions—Obesity and smoking were both found to be important risk factors for VTE whereas total/high-density lipoprotein/low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, and diabetes mellitus were not.

PubMed Abstract Link:

[/size][/font]Obesity, smoking may raise blood clot risk 
Wed, Apr 28 2010
By Amy Norton

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Obesity and smoking may each raise a person's risk of potentially dangerous blood clots in the veins, but certain other suspected risk factors seem to have no impact, a new study finds.
The study, reported in the journal Circulation, investigated risk factors for venous thromboembolism -- blood clots in the veins, usually affecting the legs. If one of these clots travels to the lungs, creating what is called a pulmonary embolism, it can prove fatal.

Some studies have suggested that venous thromboembolism, or VTE, has largely the same risk factors as heart disease does, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure and smoking.
But most of those risk factors have not consistently been linked to VTE. Obesity has stood as the only condition strongly linked to both VTE and cardiovascular disease -- including heart disease and peripheral artery disease, a hardening and narrowing of the arteries supplying the legs.

In the new study, researchers found that among nearly 19,000 Danish adults followed for 20 years, those who were obese or heavy smokers had an increased risk of developing VTE (a clot in a deep vein or a pulmonary embolism).
Compared with non-smokers, those who smoked 25 cigarettes a day or more had a 52 percent greater risk. Meanwhile, obese adults were 65 percent more likely than the thinnest men and women to develop VTE, while severe obesity was linked to a doubling in the risk.

"The main message for the public from our study is that losing weight and quitting smoking are likely to not only reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and peripheral artery disease, but also of venous thromboembolism," lead researcher Dr. Anders G. Holst, of University Hospital Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, told Reuters Health in an email.

On the other hand, the study found no evidence that diabetes, exercise levels, high cholesterol or high triglycerides (another type of blood fat) were linked to an elevated VTE risk. And while elevated diastolic blood pressure appeared to be a risk factor, a diagnosis of high blood pressure was not. That raises the possibility that the former finding was due to chance, and not a true effect, according to the researchers.

The findings come from a long-term study begun in 1976, looking at heart disease risk factors among adults age 20 and older living in Copenhagen.

Of 18,954 study participants followed for 20 years, 969 had at least one VTE during that time. Obesity and current smoking remained linked to higher risks even after the researchers accounted for age, sex and other health factors.
The findings suggest that two already-recommended lifestyle changes -- shedding excess pounds and quitting smoking -- are key in lowering VTE risk, according to Holst.

He also noted that the lack of a link between cholesterol and VTE is interesting, as a recent clinical trial of the cholesterol-lowering drug rosuvastatin (Crestor) found a lower risk of VTE among patients using the medication.
The current findings, Holst said, suggest that the benefit did not come from cholesterol-lowering, per se, but from some other effect of statins.

Copyright Reuters 2010


Joined: 11 Nov 2008, 19:22

30 Apr 2010, 15:02 #46

The role of smoking cessation in the
prevention of coronary artery disease
Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2010 March, Volume 12(2), Pages 145-150.

Pipe AL, Papadakis S, Reid RD.

Abstract Smoking (tobacco addiction) is the most significant of the modifiable cardiovascular risk factors. Mistakenly described as a "habit" or "behavioral choice," the onset of tobacco addiction quickly follows the acquisition of an ability to inhale cigarette smoke and is reflected in a transformation of neurophysiologic function and nicotine-receptor density. Thereafter, comfort and a degree of neurophysiologic "equanimity" require the regular administration of nicotine.

Smokers inhale thousands of other chemicals, many of which play critical roles in the initiation and accentuation of atherosclerosis by influencing vasomotor activity, vascular dysfunction, oxidation of lipids, atheroma development, and thrombosis.

Smoking cessation is a priority in the management of any patient with cardiovascular disease. The benefits of cessation accrue rapidly in such patients and have a pronounced effect on the likelihood of disease progression, hospital readmission, and mortality. All physicians must be familiar with the principles of cessation practice and be able to initiate smoking cessation attempts.

Pubmed Abstract:

Joined: 11 Nov 2008, 19:22

13 Jun 2010, 19:05 #47

Email from:  Carol
Date Received:  June 13, 2010

Hi:  I am a 61 year old lady who smoked for 46 years and thought everything was good. I worked out at the gym 5 days a week, took care of our youngest grandson 5 days a week and worked 3 to 5 midnight shifts a week.  I did not drink or do drugs because I knew they were bad for me and could cause my brain problems. The one thing I did not know was  SMOKING could do the same thing.

January 14, 2008 while working out at the gym, I got the worst headache I had ever had. Headaches I had been having for 42 years.  This one was like no other. The gal at the gym was a smart lady and she knew something was wrong. After kicking my feet out from under me to take me to the floor, she called 911 and I was on my way to the ER. I do not remember going, only telling her something was wrong. The next thing I remember was February 26, 2008. I was leaving the Hospital and going to a rehab hospital.
I had an aneurysm rupture and bleed through my brain. The Doctors were great and saved my life which I later found out was something in its self. Only 5% of us make it through.  Smoking has a real hold on your brain and I found out just how much . Although I did not remember any of the 7 weeks in the hospital, I did remember I was a smoker.

The Doctor who took care of me and my brain, said I could not smoke again. In fact his words were, smoke and you can find yourself another Doctor. Brain Doctors as good as him are not easy to find and living meant more to me than smoking so I have not smoked since.

I tell people if I had known I could loose brain use by smoking, I would have quit a long time ago. Some say no, you would not have but I know different. I did not drink or do drugs because of the reaction they have on your brain so I know I would not have smoked.

It has been 2 1/2 years now and I am still recovering but alive. Let people know about brain aneurysms and smoking and it might help kick the habit. Not to mention the money you have not smoking. Heck, I am rich now. When I started smoking a pack cost 37cents , now they are close to 10$

Thanks for reading.



Joined: 11 Nov 2008, 19:22

13 Jul 2010, 12:05 #48

Email Received:  July 13, 2010
From:   Ivan
Re:  Feedback
Firstly - thank you. Its difficult to describe just how much finding your site has/is helped/helping me.  
I'm a 37yr old male from Liverpool, England who had his third heart attack last week. I've been addicted to nicotine since the age of 13. I had my first heart attack just under 10 years ago at 28 years old. My latest event has resulted in my 6th stent insertion. OK, I had a high cholesterol level up until my first attack 10 yrs ago (10.9 on the uk bad cholesterol scale) but it has been down to 3.5 since. (safe(ish) is said to be 5).
I did quit for over two years in 2000 but became ensnared again from smoking just one while drunk on holiday in 2002 and have been smoking 10 to 20 per day since. I knew what I was doing but couldn't understand why really. I knew that I'd probably have another event or probably die but couldn't either stop it or found it easy to convince myself that I would get away with it. Until now, after finding your site. Everything makes sense.
Basically you have given me hope by giving me knowledge. I feel that I can fight this now. It wasn't  the stopping that I found difficult (Being in a cardio ward hooked up to a wharfrin drip and ECG physically helped with that!), it was the months and years later that seemed to be the issue. I felt deprived. I don't feel or think of it like that now. I believe that now I have a hope. I didn't understand the nature of the addiction and couldn't figure out why I couldn't get away with the odd one here and there.
I just had to write to you and your team. If I can ever help with the crusade I will. I promise to promote your site at every opportunity.
Just wanted you to know. Your making a difference to many people globally. God bless you.

Joined: 11 Nov 2008, 19:22

11 Nov 2011, 19:41 #49

----- Original Message -----
[color=]From: Chris Coahran [/color]
Sent: Friday, November 11, 2011 1:36 PM
Subject: You may want to use my story to help others, coming from a humbled perspective

Dear John,


My name is Chris Coahran. First, please feel free to use any part of my story for others’ benefit. 

I was an athlete in school. I could run 440 yards in 48 seconds. I pole vaulted. I always did 4 events, every track meet, from 6th grade to 12th. I played football, basketball, baseball, and ran track for those years. I had scholarship contact. I was in the best shape. And I smoked during those years. I started in 2nd grade, and started seriously inhaling in 5th, age 11. I never stopped.


I had my first heart attack in 1997. I was life-lined to Methodist hospital in Indianapolis, dying twice en route. Angioplasty and two stents inserted then. After I got out of intensive care, I convinced a family member to leave a pack of cigarettes and a lighter with me. I then would go on my “recoup” walks. I would get out of the hospital bed, walk down the hallway, get on the elevator, and walk 100 yards to the front entrance to the hospital. I was wired up with a mobile EKG monitor, and wore a hospital gown. I stood in front of the hospital and smoked, 2 days after being life-lined. In the pouring rain and sleet. To smoke. This was in April, 1997. Again, 3 months later, I went camping for the 4th of July. I smoked, and drank beer. Back to the hospital for 3 days.


I continued smoking. For the next 14 years. I am now on the 3rd internal defibrillator inserted in my chest. I accrued close to $200,000 in debt from hospital bills. And still smoked. My Dad had smoked for 55 years. He had a quintuple bypass, and then he stopped. I didn’t. My Mom had pneumonia twice, nearly dying. I still smoked. My brother had medical problems from smoking. I still smoked. My other brother and sister still smoke. I worked for the next 10 years, finally having enough trouble health-wise that I had to file for disability in October of 2009. The normal waiting period for that is 2-4 years. SSA did NOT fight me whatsoever, and I received benefits in 6 months following, an almost unheard of short waiting period, especially these days. Not good, and at the same time, I was thankful to be able to pay rent/bills again.


I stopped smoking today, a week before my 49th birthday. I would like to see my 50th. I tried to wait and give myself a birthday present, or stop on National Stop Smoking day. My health told me otherwise. To wait another week is just making another weak excuse.


I am not looking for ANY recognition or fame. I do this in all humility. I want to spare others the pains, stresses, and struggles that I have miraculously lived through.


My name is Chris Coahran. I live in Lafayette, IN.


Thank you for your website. No-nonsense, straightforward, to the point, and honest. I look forward to hearing from you.


p.s. I used to collect track ribbons and trophies. Now I collect used up defibs.