I have lost count of the times that when I have been suffering from coughing and breathlessness, I get asked " did you smoke" the answer may be yes , but I stopped 40years ago. People forget that lung problems may be caused by genetics or other environmental conditions.

They may be too young or have forgotten that smoking was so widespread that it was practically impossible to avoid inhaling cigarette smoke.

I remember the smoke in cinemas, trains, buses, planes, workplaces and even hospitals.

21years ago when I had pneumonia, some nurses would smoke in the rest room.

It was not until 2007, that smoking was banned in enclosed spaces such as bars, restaurants and pubs in the UK.

My father and grandfather smoked.....soldiers serving overseas in WW1 were given cigarettes.

I am really glad that the dangers of cigarette smoking have been recognised, and the regulations put in place, but I wish we could change attitudes towards people suffering with lung conditions.

Blaming is easy

13 Replies

  • Hi Knitter I agree with you completely, my memory goes back that far too. I know there were some concerns back then about the effects of smoking but they weren't made public for a long time were they?

    Unfortunately there are many people who blame others for their conditions, and it's not just smoking. It's official term is 'Individual guilt'. You are blamed if you are overweight, don't exercise enough, have an unhealthy diet, drink too much etc. People even get blamed for their own poverty these days.

    No one is denying that unhealthy habits are partly to blame for a lot of illness but show me someone who lives a 'perfect' lifestyle and I will show you a hypocrite. x

  • They blame smoking on everything.

    My mother smoked when she was having me but there are people on here who have never smoked a day in their lives x

  • I agree with you knitter and remember the advertising for cigarettes just about everywhere. My dad smoked, most people did back then. Lung conditions are caused by many things and smoking related illnesses are just one. I have known people who have never smoked in their lives yet had COPD.

    You take care. xxx

  • I completely agree - my husband did smoke but the damage was

    Done by the solder fumes he inhaled! Xx

  • Totally agree. I have never smoked but lived through a time when just about everyone else did. How's this for irony - twice a week I used to leave school at 2pm and catch 2 buses (which were full of smoke) to the hospital to have saline sniffs, excercises and physio, then caught 2 buses (full of smoke) back home. Wonder if I woud have been better staying at school!!!!


  • I remember when I first started nursing the Doctors smoked on the ward...and what was really interesting was when I was last in hospital about eighteen months ago the smoking cessation lady said she was run off her feet seeing the nursing staff...the hospital had introduced a total non smoking for all the buildings and the outside areas...the staff, and she said many were the Doctors...were panicking about the total ban!

  • Yes im 50 and i can remember everyone could smoke anywere buses,trains,hospitals as for pubs and clubs god that was totally smokey!its shocking but no wonder as we age we get problems...

  • Well said. I am reluctant to tell people I have COPD as it is usually 'you only have it because you used to smoke'. I wish attitudes would change for the better xx

  • My own Doctor asks me every single time I go to see her, if I am sure I have never smoked, as it is rare for a never smoker to have lung disease. She has "Never smoker' in block capitals on my notes, but I am sure she doesn't really believe me. Funny old world isn't it?

  • I don't think it is rare for folks who have never smoked to have lung disease, when you consider CFers, bronchiectatics and I know some COPDers who have never smoked.

    My con often teases me by putting 10 years on my date of birth and saying 'you have always smoked haven't you' whilst smiling. He gets the reaction he is looking for - usually telling him he is treading on dangerous ground. It's just a bit of fun and lightens up a consultation.


  • Very true. I have a few friends also with the disease who don't smoke. Maybe my Doc is teasing me too, I hadn't thought of that.

  • It isn't rare for never-smokers to have lung disease - how could it be when the very air we breathe is polluted with diesel fumes and evey carcinogen under the sun. Loads of us who have reached a respectable age remember the days when the only people who weren't allowed to smoke in hospital wards were the nurses - and they used to skive off down to the sluices for a drag - funny thing is we never had super-bugs then, I guess they were all anti-smoking! When Leonard Nimmoy died they said it was from smoking, but he was 81 for pity's sake, and Winston Churchill probably drifted into Abraham's bosom on a cloud of cigar smoke. I am very much opposed to smoking now, but it's unreasonable to blame every little thing on the fact that you may once have had a ciggy or 20!

  • Do you know what Knitter, I think I'd say "no" in future. Perhaps it will begin to educate people that we can have lung problems without having smoked.

    As a student in 70s I worked weekends & early mornings as a bus conductress in Cambridge (they were the days, nice fitted wool serge jacket, leather cash bag, white sailors bell bottoms from the army & navy stores).

    My driver & I did yoga at the termini on grass verges & then we'd share a players no 6!

    I don't know why we smoked, especially practising yoga but even those few cigs at that time, didn't do my asthma much good. Best wishes to you xx P

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