Leonard Nimoy’s Story Featured In New CDC Anti-Smoking Campaign

This week, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched their latest wave of ads in their long-running “Tips From Former Smokers” campaign. The new ads share personal stories of Americans suffering from smoking-related illnesses, and the devastating impact of these illnesses on smokers’ families. Some of the ads included feature Susan Nimoy, wife of Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy.

Leonard Nimoy’s smoking story

Leonard Nimoy quit smoking cigarettes after 37 years, but those years of smoking damaged his lungs. He was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in 2013, and was an anti-smoking advocate until his death in 2015. According to the CDC, it was Mr. Nimoy’s desire to continue to educate the public about the dangers of smoking, which is why his family has included him as part of CDC’s Tips campaign.

The extended video below features Susan speaking about Leonard’s struggle with COPD.

The “Tips From Former Smokers” campaign will run for the rest of 2019 on cable television, online, and in magazines. CDC estimates that, during 2012-2015, over nine million Americans tried to quit smoking cigarettes because of the campaign and over half a million quit for good.

You can see the shorter 30-second ad below.

The Tips ads encourage smokers to call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or to visit www.cdc.gov/tips to view the personal stories from the campaign. There is a specific page dedicated to Leonard Nimoy’s story.

The CDC website includes information, tools, and resources to support smokers trying to quit. For more information on the Tips campaign, including profiles of the former smokers, other campaign resources and links to the ads, visit www.cdc.gov/tips.

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COPD took my Father-In-Law out. He had a simply horrible time of it, a former three-pack a day smoker. Kudos to the Nimoy family for sharing this intimate story.

Smoking killed my father too, lung cancer. Im glad they shared this.

Smoking killed my grandfather (lung CA), my mom (lung CA 20 years after she quit and she quit because of a stroke the smoking caused) I never smoked, but lived my life in a smoking household and at 58 a carcinoid lesion was found on my lung. It was removed…but it could recur. If you smoke, try to quit. There’s no guarantees, but I feel I had my mom with me longer because she did. And I too give the Nimoys credit for doing this…seeing random smokers talking about their illnesses is one thing, seeing it can happed to someone you admire…that might catch someone’s attention.

Leonard Nimoy wasn’t just a great actor; he was also an admirable human being. It’s characteristic of him that he tried to save others from the disease that afflicted him, and I salute Susan Nimoy for her willingness to continue his work by sharing the story.

My father died from cardiopulmonary diseases related to smoking at 65. I smoked for thirty years before I quit, because I developed some circulatory problems in my lower legs. My doctor told me, if I didn’t quit right then and there, they’d start snipping pieces of me away in a year or two from the damage that it did. I’m only ten years younger than my dad was when ‘Pa bit the dust’, as Karl Urban said, and I’m starting to feel the effects. Take Mr. Nimoy and all the others seriously, folks. It’s a bad habit, and it’s ultimately deadly. We’re all not Keith Richards. Besides, I discovered a whole new world of upsides once I got over that withdrawal hump. Like living in a different world.

My dad quit when I was in HS. He tried on his own and failed. Had to go into a program to do it. He lived to be 80 but suffered from dementia in the end. His step-father was the anomaly. He smoked like a chimney nearly every day of his life and lived into his 90’s. Weird how that works sometimes.

My best friend was diagnosed with COPD at the age of 31. Never bothered to quit. Died 7 years later.

I had never seen a photograph of Leonard wheelchair-bound like that. Frail looking. It broke my heart. Susan’s story broke my heart. Especially about his frightening final month. I know he’s resting in peace now.

I have COPD – It is killing me from smoking all those years. People really need to be more aware of COPD and lung damage due to smoking. Thank You for showing this – this disease from smoking is taking my life.