The glitz and glamour is at times not enough to sustain a body constantly exposed to cigarette smoke as these stories will tell you
The tobacco and media industry seem to be the perfect companions, if Hollywood movies are anything to go by. However, things are not always what they seem. Here are some celebrities that had their lives altered by a smoking habit, some finally losing this terrible battle against lung diseases such as emphysema.
In an era that some of the people mentioned below found individual fame and success in, the dangers of smoking were not always highlighted, or fully known. In certain cases this information was even withheld. In today’s day and age with the insurmountable evidence proving that smoking causes deadly diseases like Emphysema, take heed from the lives of the rich and famous and quit before it’s too late.
Johnny Carson is often called the undisputed king of late night television. He was a talk show host, actor, musician and producer. He hosted ‘The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson’, a variety talk show that ran for nearly 30 years. Carson remains a cultural icon and is still hailed by millions as a legend in television production.
Johnny Carson was also a heavy smoker, often smoking on camera while taping his shows. He developed emphysema because of years of abuse and would often tell close friends and family that smoking would eventually end up killing him.
Johnny Carson died at the age of 79 on January 23, 2005 from respiratory failure brought on by emphysema.
There were a couple of factors contributing to Carson’s addiction to cigarettes. He had served in World War 2 and received free cigarettes, as did many other soldiers, some of who have voiced free cigarettes during military service as the reason they became addicted to cigarettes.
The second factor was that during Carson’s era in the 50’s and 60’s, cigarettes were considered highly fashionable, with the implications on health not being explored as yet. With improved technology we have been able to understand that many, like Johnny Carson died as a direct result of smoking. What remains to be understood is how tobacco companies have still been able to maintain and advertise the façade of the suave smoker to this date despite mounting evidence countering this image as only a dangerous gimmick.
FACT: 9 out of 10 people that die from COPD, a category of diseases affecting the respiratory system of which emphysema is also grouped under, do so because of incidents related to smoking.
Amy Winehouse was a British singer-songwriter that seemed to be in the news more for her seemingly out-of-control lifestyle than her music, a tall order for an artist that made the best-selling UK album of the 21st century and won 24 awards for her contributions to pop and jazz music.
Winehouse was infamous for her dangerous lifestyle and would openly admit to doing drugs, specifically chain smoking cocaine. Her voice, some say, is appealing because of the raspiness that was caused by intense abuse over a very short span of time.
Winehouse did not die from emphysema, but she did admit to having the disease in 2008 and was even getting medical treatment for it to be manageable. At the time, Winehouse was only 24 years old and a respiratory disease at that age, despite assurances from both artist and her associates that the condition was very mild, is extremely alarming.
If she did not quit smoking and doing drugs, Winehouse had been told that very soon she would have to resort to breathing from an oxygen mask before possibly dying from a respiratory complication. Upon receiving treatment for Emphysema, Winehouse was told that if the treatment was kept going for a period of time, her lungs would eventually start functioning normally again. Unfortunately, Winehouse passed away from alcohol poisoning in 2011. She was 27.
Fact: People that smoke a pack of cigarettes for 20 years are 20% more likely to develop a lung condition.
Dean Martin was an American actor, singer, comedian and film producer, while also being one of the most popular and entertaining stars of the mid 20th century. Dean Martin was known as ‘the King of Cool’ for his effortless charm and charisma. Smoking was also part of this persona in those days and because of his heavy smoking Martin developed emphysema, eventually succumbing to complications caused by the illness at the age of 78.
Fact: Tissue damage in your lungs is irreversible. Even if you give up the habit your lungs will still have their elasticity permanently altered.
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