Leonard Nimoy appears on “Piers Morgan Live” to discuss COPD

Star Trek legend Leonard Nimoy recently disclosed that he is suffering from a lung disease called COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), a condition commonly caused by age and years of heavy smoking.

Mr. Nimoy, who by his own admission was an “Olympic championship smoker” who smoked two packs of cigarettes a day, quit the habit 30-years ago. Despite being smoke-free ever since, the damage was already done.

On Monday night, Mr. Nimoy, looking well, appeared on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live” to discuss COPD and touched upon the culture that surrounded smoking during the time he picked up the habit. Continue on to see a clip of his interview.


Learn more about COPD from WebMD

To get information about quitting smoking, look here http://smokefree.gov/

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Yep, I remember “Smoke ‘Em if You Got ‘Em” from my early days in the service [late 1970s]. If you weren’t smoking during the break, you were standing in formation, where you were not allowed to chat. People chose to smoke just so they could move about and talk a bit.

I remember, too, growing up with smokers all around. Grown-ups smoked; it was the rare grown-up who didn’t back then. My Dad switched to “Low Tar” cigarettes and we thought it was a healthy choice o..O

Much gratitude flowing your way, Mr Nimoy, for “coming out” about COPD and the harm smoking does. You’re the greatest.

Another major goal for this accomplished man. I hope people listen… and avoid tobacco all together.

Best, Mr. Nimoy! And Bravo!

Thank goodness I quit ten years ago and only smoked for about that long. I hope it works out ok. Thanks Leonard for spreading the word to quit!

I think it takes a certain level of integrity to stand up and say ‘I was wrong’, particularly for someone who is a celebrity. I think this demonstrates a genuine quality in our good friend here; he’s a real guy, always has been.

I should stop smoking O.o

my father chain-smoked (3) packs of menthols a day… he died before 50…

the corporations are STILL convincing us to kill ourselves and all life on earth… FOR PROFIT =(

STOP THE MADNESS!!! =( (Do not be driven by ego)

My Dad died from cancer, he also had OCD…. I used to get car sick when driving , not knowing that the sigerite smooking may have sealed my fate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!….. think about it……………..

My father smoked two packs a day for I don’t know how long. He died at 65 after suffering heart attacks, a triple (!) bypass, and various other cardio surgeries. Needless to say, he had COPD and numerous other health issues until the end. I, myself, smoked two packs a day for 30 years, and it’s cost me some health that I should still have at age 50, but my doctor put the fear of God in me, and I quit 17 months ago.

For those of you who smoke, it’s your choice – the worst type of anti-smoking zealot is a reformed smoker, and I know what it’s like to fire up that butt. I can’t tell you to quit. There isn’t a day that goes by that I’d love to burn a Marlboro with a cold beer. But I can tell those of you who have fought the urge to be ‘one of the crowd’: IT ISN’T WORTH YOUR LIFE. We only have a finite amount of time on this planet. Don’t clip them short for the sake of a smoke. Take it from someone who will probably check out years sooner than he should. It just isn’t worth it.

go smoke free,,

Like us in New Zealand ! :oD

Wednesday, February 12, 2014– 5:45 am CST

I didn’t see the interview. But I agree with Leonard Nimoy. I haven’t had a cigarette for 5 years. Leonard keep passing the word about smoking. My husband, Don, passed away from cancer caused by cigarettes.


Terry (Dallas, Texas)

Some true words to live by in Mr Nimoy’s admission, along with many of the comments here. I too was a smoker between the mid 80s up until 2010 when I quit. By then I was up to a deck and 1/2 a day. I hope I ceased the habit soon enough to gain some time back.

The tobacco people were pretty savvy marketers. When we entered WWII, they made sure that all the GI’s got smokes – it ensured a built in market at wars end, and the evidence that was starting to mount was countered for a while by the ‘doctors smoke’ advertising campaign. It was a blatant abuse of the trust and goodwill that the population held for the medical community, one that had ramifications that I suspect we are still dealing with, namely, mistrust of the medical and scientific community. The public knows they sold out to big tobacco, who else have they sold out to?

Oh Dear,

Nimoy I am praying of you. please I hope you don’t leave this earth soon. I love you so much man.

I never really understood, how anyone can start to smoke. Even if it would be healthy, cigarettes stink nastily. Inhaling that repulsive smoke, is just disgusting.

I get it that when you are already addicted, you can’t stop easily. But why start at all? Even if it would be healthy, it just stinks and is also expensive, especially when you smoke a pack or more each day. I can think of a lot of better ways to spend money.

Never ever smoked actively. Not a single test inhalation, never let any cigarette touch my lips, for now 29 years. This made me an outsider in my high school days, but I guess it was worth it…

I heard a radio interview the other day with a guy from an anti-smoking group, that said the tobacco industry knows their days are numbered. So now in order to survive financiall,y they are behind the scenes lobbying to get marajuana legalized.

I guess there will always be a vice, that corporations can exploit, for a profit.

@14. Tobacco’s profits are mostly driven by the foreign market these days. Not only are they lobbying for the legalization of pot, there is quite the campaign of mis-information growing out there about the effects on your health that pot use has. I sell l**e I***ran*e (the filter bans these words) and I’m shocked at the number of applicants who swear they have never smoked, because tobacco is evil, but then find out that they light up the joints on a regular basis. Have had a few of these people insist that pot is good for you…because doctors say so. Sound familiar?

Sorry, but smoking is smoking, be it pot, tobacco, or anything else. And it will take years off your life.

This is definitely a characteristic of Spock’s human side as smoking is not, in any way, logical.

Good for him. He turned that airport photo into an opportunity to relay a positive health message. LLAP.

We did indeed get free cigerettes in the our C-ration boxes in the military. It was a small packet of 3 cigerettes and for those of us who did not smoke, you could trade for something from the other soldiers ration box, like the pound cake we got. It was great if you poured the jiuce from the can of furit cocktail over the cake.

My father started smoking in the Navy during WW2 and quit some 30 years ago, he is still with us at the age of 87 and he is one of the blessed former smokers.

The lesson here is not to start, but if you are smoking than quit now. Smoking a joint is no different and there is no filter, same gooes these water pipe things. Not sure how the E cigs will pan out for people. I have been around people using them and its not disturbing to me at all.

But the words of Mr. Spock must be listened to here, he is an example of what we may be in for when you choose to smoke. I wish him well while dealing with this illness of COPD.

Don’t believe the hype about CPOD.

The body heals itself everyday. it’s even healing you, and Nimoy’s is healing his lungs, right now!

Proper nutrition and daily exercise is what will keeps you healthy all the days of your life. Don’t believe wverything your doctor tells you, Mr. Nimoy. If it was not for you healthy immune systems you would heve been dead long ago.

The only thing that is bad, is the negative vibs this article is giving out.

Live long and proper. EVERYONE!

: ). : ). : )

16 Phil, For a long time I thought pot was less hazardous than tobacco simply because the chemical composition of cigarettes is comparatively so hazardous [FORMALDEHYDE among hundreds of others].Burning something and bringing that smoke into your lungs is bad but how many chemicals or other hazardous substances were part of the marijuana? Comparatively few, right? [I don’t know, just debating here.]

Once big corporations get involved, pot ‘purity’ is going to go the way of the dodo.

Maybe then there’ll be a niche market for 100% Organic Additive Free pot :-p They can call it Smokin’ Mother Nature ….

Most drivers in Metro Atlanta ACT stoned already. I dread the day when they’re no longer acting.

@21. Pot purity is a fantasy. Plants have been bred to boost the content of their active ingredient, and like any other agricultural product, whatever pesticides and fertilizers were used in it’s cultivation will end up in trace amounts in the plant. Organic cigarettes seems like an oxymoron, but the product isn’t marketed as anything other then an effort to keep secondary exposure to fertilizers and pesticides to a minimum. At least the dangers of tobacco are fairly well documented, and as most tobacco products are filtered now, at least exposure to tar is minimized. Comparing pot to tobacco is kind of like comparing brewed alcohol to distilled alcohol. You are not going to find to many apples to apples comparisons. In rare situations, any of these substances can demonstrate a positive outcome, but by and large, the wide scale use (or abuse) causes more harm then good. I tend Libertarian on stuff like this, in the privacy of your own home, if you have a drink, a cigarette, or a joint, that’s your choice. As long as you understand and accept the responsibility for whatever negative outcome may come from their use, knock yourself out. Understand, that if you give me a song and dance to rationalize your decision (I’m looking at you, medical marijuana proponents), I’m going to call you on your bulls**t.

I quit in 1974, after only smoking three years. The anti-smoking handwriting was on the walls at the 1974 International “Star Trek” convention I attended. The NYC fire marshals got involved, and they ordered strict crowd control, and no smoking. That was Mr. Nimoy’s first convention appearance; he was there to address the rumors that he hated the series and his character. My dad had heart surgery, which forced him to quit smoking. My mom quit when she went back to work. They lived well into their eighties. Personally, I can’t see why people smoke any more; the price of a pack here in New York City is about $12; they were 55 cents a pack when I quit.

Good for Mr. Nimoy for having the courage to speak out about this. It would be hard knowing the consequences he will soon face.

I graduated high school in 1987. We had a smoking area for students. If you got a permission slip signed you could go to what was called the “Smoking Pad”. A taxpayer built area outside, a concrete floor and three foot high brick wall built around it, complete with barrels for garbage and commercial size ash trays all around.

How typically wonderful of Mr. Nimoy, to use his own health challenges as an opportunity to educate others. Thank you, Mr. Nimoy, and we wish you all the best!

@23. 21. Marja, I just reread my last post, and realized the last portion could be construed that I’m addressing you – I was not, the use of the word ‘you’ was in the collective, addressed to anyone who may be rationalizing a decision. Not you, specifically. I don’t know you personally, it would be wrong to assume what your position may be.

Great to see Leonard looking well…Looking forward to seeing him onscreen as Spock again in ST 3 or is it ST 13?

19. Lt. Bailey – LOL Man, I remember those three smokes in the C-rats. And I was in heaven if I scored the spiced beef AND a John Wayne bar together. LOL Some of the guys in my platoon didn’t have the, *AHEM* intestinal fortitude to put away anything heavily seasoned, so they were always willing to barter with me. Memories……..

20. TrekMadeMeWonder – February 12, 2014

The only thing that is bad, is the negative vibs this article is giving out.

Oh, has this article ruined Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease for you?

I just hate it when some do-gooder comes along and ruins the image and good-time feelings associated with a perfectly good preventable disease.

My opinion about smoking is the same as anything else: excessive usage of anything is bad for you. Heck, drinking too much water can kill you, like this one contestant of a radio show’s contest (called “A wee for a Wii”). At any rate, I not for the banning of any product,. but I do believe that, like alcohol, tobacco should be heavily regulated while remaining legal.

Still, I am glad that Mr. Nemoy is willing to put himself out there about the dangers of excessive usage of tobacco products (including chewing tobacco, which can give you cancer of the gums, I believe).

Keep spreading the word Mr,Nimoy. Wife and I long time smokers, also have
COPD. Quit now your life depends on it.

My dad died of his second heart attack at 63 years old. He smoked from the time he was 15 until the day he died. My mom also smoked from that age and died at 66 of complications from COPD. I lived in second hand smoke as a kid when both of them smoked in the house. I just hope hours away at school plus my young age protected me.

Mom smoked most of her life. Although she had quit at the end, cancer took all but half-a-lung. Then, six months later, it showed up in her kidneys and finally her brain. The end, mercifully, was quick.

Tobacco companies have murdered millions of people. Murder is when you know it’s happening and you do it for money or whatever. It’s murder, plain and simple.

converting cigarette production from tobacco to cannabis will be easy… and HIGHLY PROFITABLE (corporations want to own it) Monsanto will patent it.

regulating it will be politically complex, but cannabis should be legal. =)

The world would be a MUCH better place if everyone tried cannabis! =)

alcohol and tobacco are pure EVIL POISON! =(

tobacco is not murder… more precisely, it is suicide…

they are not killing you… they are selling you the poison…

the corporations are convincing you… to selfishly kill yourself…

and the world around you… by manipulating your ego…

Smoking is still a CHOICE people! Even though I think it’s a nasty habit — and I’ve never once smoked — but c’mon! Some of you act like the tobacco companies are hypnotizing and brainwashing people into smoking!

People just need to take responsibility for the choices they make. I know that’s not a popular thing to hear these days, but we need to stop blaming inanimate objects for killing people.

It’s all about choices folks. I chose to not smoke very early on.

#30 Viking.

Those C-rats were something else and I remember the John Wayne cookies. They were not too bad wihen I used the pineapple jelly on them. I think I was one the few if only one who actaully liked/wanted the eggs. All time favorite was the cherry cake and I still have an un-opened can of the chocolate nut cake, just for nostalga sake.

@38. Yes, at some level, smoking is a choice. Now, lets say that for the next 20 years, here are the images you are bombarded with: When I was in the Army, they gave me heroin in my mess kits. The army wouldn’t give me something that was bad for me, right? Every movie I see the stars are all using heroin. They wouldn’t be doing that if it was bad for them, right? The doctor survey says my brand of heroin was preferred 2 to 1 – doctors WOULD NEVER suggest I do something that was bad for me, right? The gov’t subsidizes heroin producers with my tax dollars. They wouldn’t do that if it was bad for you, right?

Inanimate objects are not all created equal. Use of a ping pong ball has not resulted in the death of the user. cigarettes have. Fertilizer grows crops, feeding the masses. Fertilizer, mixed with diesel, is a bomb. If I throw a bullet at you I irritate you. If I fire it at you, I kill you. Personal responsibility only goes so far when the product in question is portrayed as something it’s not. The tobacco companies put considerable effort into convincing the market their product is safe, when they knew it was not. The buyer can only beware if they are presented with complete and factual information, and for a generation that buyer was told smoking was safe. It took another generation of cancer, COPD, and a whole host of smoking related issues to convince the public otherwise….and even then, recently, the tobacco companies still insisted that they were not aware of any evidence to the contrary.

Choice? Not when the companies spend many millions to create the most addictive delivery system possible for its drug. Not when cigarettes are placed in movies to promote their coolness. Not when the companies spend millions and millions on lobbying to counteract medical science.

If you shy away from the word “murder,” don’t delude yourself into using a word so innocent as “choice.”

Having said that, the only solution in my mind is for everyone to choose to consider smoking something horrible on every level. (I’m not a fan of taxes, federal regulations, etc. — just a good clean public hatred of smoking.)

yes, it’s choice…

however, they DO spend millions on convincing you to make that choice…

and, once you are hooked, it IS VERY DIFFICULT to make any other choice…

knowledge is power… let’s help each other to make the RIGHT choices =)

Agreed, Herbert.. or not Herbert… or Betty. Whoever you are. Agreed.

Well, I’m pretty sure that everyone knows what cigarettes cause — unless you live under a rock. Perhaps we should do a study on what makes some people choose to smoke and others — such as myself — to not smoke even though, I’ve been “subjected” to the same. “Influence” as everyone else.

I just don’t buy the whole evil corporation thing. There are warning suckers on the things and many other things may cause bad health that people put in their bodies every day. So, where do we draw the line?

I’m for educating people about the adverse health effects of smoking, as has been going on for what? The last 50 years? But I am also for preserving freedom of choice…

@44. Where we draw the line is to ensure that this choice is made with full access to the best information available. Warning labels did not appear until 1970, so there has been 44 years of cautions to counteract a century of the glamorization of smoking. Since the introduction of information detailing the negative effects of smoking, smoking levels have decreased, which demonstrates that access to information works. Further, I’d also suggest that if these products were priced to reflect their true cost, even more people would be discouraged from using them. If availability of a toxic product is going to be mandated under a weak argument of preserving freedom of choice, then the manufacture of these toxic products needs to shoulder some of the responsibility of their use – responsible use means one must accept whatever negative outcomes may result from their use. The argument of freedom of choice ends when society as a whole is tasked to shoulder the cost of illness, lost productivity, and whatever physical damage may result. When my tax dollars have to pay for your health care because you chose to smoke, the argument is no longer about preserving freedom of choice.

Phil, nicely stated!

Yeah, freedom and personal responsibility are always “weak arguments” to liberals who want a nanny state to mandate and micro manage our lives because we are all “too dumb” to make our own decisions and take responsibility for what we put our in our bodies. Lol!!

The information is out there regarding the dangers of smoking and we all know guns in the hands of criminals are bad.

We’re all responsible for ourselves. NOT the nanny state. Quit acting like helpless babies and get control of yourselves.

I somehow manage to do that and since that’s the case, so can everyone else. I’m nothing special, let me tell you! LOL!!

Unless one has a time machine, there’s nothing to be done about how smoking was promoted in the past — what matters is making wise decisions in the here and now. :-)

It’s not a question of endorsing the nanny state – you can bolster your argument substantially if you can cite one instance where the tobacco industry freely shared the toxic effects of their product. Yes, the information is out their now – prior to 1970, it wasn’t. And the industry continues to file suit to prevent the strengthening of warning labels on the product. I’ve not said word one about banning tobacco, but responsibility is a two way street – the tobacco industry needs to be responsible, too…and they are not, by continuing to market a product known to be among the most lethal in use on the planet.

Once addicted, it’s rarely as simple as just putting it down. Sadly, a good portion of the addicted generation will take this to their graves. The goal now is to ensure that the next generation never starts – that requires stronger warnings, not just assuming that people will read the fine print on the label, and ignoring that the industry is still trying to cultivate the image that smoking is acceptable.

One does not need a time machine to undo the damage done in the past – as the industry will not freely share the information on the toxicity of their product, it falls on gov;t to do so. And because I’m not a proponent of the nanny state, it can be done easily – repeal the laws shielding the industry from being held liable for the damage they do. Tobacco, as a problem, goes away tomorrow if that happens.

I think continuing to educate folks about the dangers of smoking is sufficient. As you say, over time, hopefully common sense will prevail and we’ll have fewer people smoking and their health suffering as a result. On that, we can agree.

But again, there’s a whole host of unhealthy things that people engage in but do so because they enjoy it. Bungee jumping for example. But again, people should know already that’s risky behavior.

Here’s it people getting smarter and less addicted to harmful substances and behavior. My heart goes out to those who…back in the dark ages… Didn’t know and are now paying a price for that — as Mr. Nimoy and others may be.

If only we had the Guardian of Forever or could slingshot around the sun in a starship…we could go back in time and warn people of Lucky Strikes and Joe Camel…;-)

Re: tobacco (or cannabis) smoking, there has been no discussion as to what makes a person want to smoke in the first place and as one poster mentioned, why some people never take up smoking despite being around smokers (many of them other family members), all the advertising etc. The thing is – I believe that, in all likelihood, tobacco smoking will just get replaced by some other orally gratifying substance that people will choose to use.

I do wonder if those who have chosen not to smoke have ever been surveyed as to the why’s, how’s etc. I have never been asked. What made my sister start smoking at the age of 12 but not me? Our father smoked at the time. My better-half has never smoked either, despite having both parents who smoked…

Perhaps, in order to get a better understanding, these are the kinds of questions that we should be asking and hopefully, getting answers to. It may help us gain a greater understanding of this desire for oral gratification and how it plays out for different people.

I drink lots of tea and coffee, don’t smoke and very rarely drink alcohol. I have always been that way.