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craig l., OR

I'm a 90-year-old retired surgeon. In WW 2 I was a Marine. Our K-rations and C-rations had packets of 4 cigarettes each. I got hooked. In medical school about 1950 I learned that tobacco causes lung cancer, and tried to quit. I failed over and over, as the addiction was powerful. The tobacco companies denied it for years, but, in spite of their lies and obstructionism, the truth finally got out. I saw growing numbers of young people with lung cancer, and continued my efforts to kick the addiction till 1973. A friend and fellow physician was dying of lung cancer. At his deathbed I thanked him for our friendship and asked if I could do anything for him. He asked me to light a cigarette and hold it so he could smoke it, since he was too weak to do it himself. He died the next day. I have never smoked again. I want people to NOT START smoking, and to stop if they have already started.

First Published: October 29, 2013

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