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Share Your Story about how tobacco use has affected your life. If you have lost someone to tobacco use, or have been affected in any way by tobacco, share your story!

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Jessie B.'s story:

Hi I am Jessie B. and tobacco and smoking has had a big impact on my life. One my parents dont smoke but my uncle and cousins do. I developed asthma real young which could have been caused by the people in my family that smokes and asthma makes it hard to do some sports. Smoking may have taken a family friend named Harold away. Harold smoked for a while and died this past year from a heart attack!! His wife Helen is still alive and smokes and has had a brain tumor which could have been caused because of smoking. My uncle named Mike was a pretty heavy smoker and decided to quit but ended up having severe kidney problems this past year. One of his kidneys stopped working and he was in the hospital for a while. He will be getting put on dialysis soon. If these three people did not smoke they could have had a better life. Harold might still be alive, Helen and Mike might of not had to go through so much. hang in there Mike and Helen!! Harold we all miss you!!
nikita 's story:

my name is nikita strauser my dream was to always get in to the army to become some thing and i got denied cause i have smoked ciggs since i was like 13. im now going to be 18...well you're going to ask how this started... this started when i was little, my mom smoked when she was pregnant for me and i had a lot of problems breathing when i was born i had to stay in the hospital for a while i think for like 4 months, almost close to a year...well my mom still kept smoking and then i got diagnosed with asthma which, hurt me more on things i could do...well when i was 9 years old my dad gave me a cig and i smoked it with him. my mom still smoked until i was 13 and then she stopped. well growing up in my years i have people all over my family that smoke so i thought it was alright. i used to get kicked out of school for smoking and now i always need it im now im 18 and I still smoke and cant stop. my dreams are just stopped now cause i have so many problems breathing and i always want to go in the army. i need help to stop i even do chewing tobacco.
Justin Hladik's story:

Since I am one of the Reality Check coordinators, I figured I would start the new "share your story" section about how tobacco use has affected my life.

My grandfather passed away in May of 2009 from Lung/Brain cancer at 69. He was diagnosed in August 2008 with lung cancer, and suffered through painful radiation and chemotherapy. He still kept his humor and spirit through the worst of times. He even made an appearance at the Reality Check Smoke-Free Movie day we held in February of 2009, telling some youth to stay away from tobacco!

He was pretty much like a second father to me, teaching me life lessons and how to be a man.

He smoked for 30 some years, but stopped in the mid-1990s because my grandmother's health was at risk from second-hand smoke.

He worked in the local leather industry since he was 16, and loved the business, even becoming a foreman at the now closed Karg Brothers mill. He was surrounded by other smokers and by harsh chemicals that may have also caused the cancer that ravaged him.

He was an amazing man, who I lost partially due to his smoking habit...I wish he had the education and knowledge we have today about smoking back when he started, he may be here today. Miss you Gramp!

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