Tips from former smokers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention isn’t pulling any punches when it comes to smoking.

The CDC recently launched a series of powerful public service announcements warning of the dangers of smoking.

The campaign is called “Tips From Former Smokers.”

One ad features former smokers who have undergone tracheotomies, an operation in which a surgical hole is created from the outside of a person’s neck to access the trachea.

In the ad, “Tips From Former Smokers – Anthem Ad,” three former smokers offer tips for living with stomas (the holes in their necks).

“When you have a hole in your neck, don’t face the shower head.”

“Suction out your throat before you eat.”

“Crouch, don’t bend over. You don’t want to lose the food in your stomach.”

The man who offered the showering advice is a 51-year-old named Shawn who lives in Washington. He started smoking at age 14.

He offers this advice in his biography:

“It’s a rough road. I wouldn’t like to see anyone else go through what I’ve gone through, because it affects you the rest of your life. You have a choice. Look at me and you see where choosing to smoke leads. Is this the choice you want to make?”

Another ad features Terrie, a 51-year-old woman from North Carolina, as she gets ready for the day. She puts in her dentures, puts on a wig and inserts the hands-free device into her stoma, which allows her to talk.

Another ad shares the stories of two people with Buerger’s disease, which can lead to amputations. And yet another features a 7-year-old boy with asthma from secondhand smoke.

I’ve never smoked a single cigarette, so I don’t know the power of nicotine addiction.

But I do know what it feels like to watch someone you love die as a result of their nicotine addiction.

Hopefully these ads will spare others from watching their loved ones die from cigarettes.

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