Hello I am new so just looking around... - British Lung Foun...

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Hello I am new so just looking around to see what I should be doing. Please bare with me whilst I digest the rules. Thanks


Someone said to me it was my own fault that I have emphasyma I shouldn't, have smoked. Maybe so but we weren't, aware in the 70's. I now feel stigmatised, unhappy and almost ashamed. Anyone else experienced this

86 Replies

I’d say almost everyone on here has had the same feelings at some point . Welcome to our lung buddies gang! Hope you are well. Cx

in reply to Chriskho

Thank you. It's a relief to find some buddies with things in common. Hope things are going well for you. We can all dream of post lockdown. Keep well.

I think alot of us have experience this kind of ignorance. Best just ignore them as they obviously don't know what they are talking about. Welcome to the group we dont judge or criticise for your past we aim to help and encourage your future 🙂

in reply to corriena

That is soooooo good to know 😃

Welcome to our friendly an none judgemental group. We have members with every lung disease going. Mine are Asthma and Bronchiectasis. We aren't concerned how someone acquired their disease, we are concerned about the person them self. I hope you find new friends among us, and if necessary support and advice. Sending hugs and best wishes. Kath. 😘🌹🌷 XXXX

You have just brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.

Things like emphysema don't discriminate on who smokes and who doesn't as anyone with lungs can get these things even if you have never smoked and these conditions aren't as simple as only being someone's fault.

Yes that's my way of thinking too. My sister died of it and she never smoked

I know lots of people who by society's standards were supposedly fit and healthy who still ended up getting heart disease so no it's not a case of an illness solely being caused by something you did or didn't do!

These things happen and no ones to blame.

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that lovely art. 🤗😘

Hello and welcome.

No judgement here. I never smoked but I certainly made unhealthy choices. At the time they seemed the right thing to do.

It's not what you did then, it's what you do now that's important.

Welcome to the group. I am intrigued by your picture. Is it a self portrait? Very clever.

Kate x

in reply to Katinka46

Thank you for your reply. Although I am an artist I didn't paint my self- portrait. Not clever enough to do that. Hope you have a lovely day.

It's great your painting here, if you did that. Wish you well! And I think you are doing great, holding up, occupying yourself with painting and bit of gardening. We all feel guilty of choices we made in the past, we can't change them can we. We need to live in the today, that's what's important! 😊

Thank you snowdrop. Your name is my favourite flower. Have a bright day!

Hi and welcome. Rather unkind of someone to say that. Not all smokers develop lung disease while others do. My dad was a much heavier smoker than me and didn't develop lung disease while I have emphysema.

As others have said, no judgements here just lots of support, information and fun.

in reply to CDPO16

Huge thank you..... so kind!

We need to look forward;not backWelcome to the forum.

Hello and welcome...it's not what we did or didn't do it's what we do now ...I too live with emphysema and I have tried to carry on as usual ... within reason Climbing Kilimanjaro was out though ! Welcome 😊 you will find lots of helpful information here and a listening ear xx

in reply to Falcon22

What a friendly and helpful sight. So pleased I found it as I have been feeling so lonely although tried to be positive. Thank you for your reply and have a good day!

Oh that hoary old chesnut! I think all smokers have had that one. I usually answer by saying how do you know that? And point out there are other causes too. That usually shuts them up. I also say only around a quarter of smokers are diagnosed with lung problems so aren't I more unlucky than them?

I also point out that many illnesses can be the result of lifestyle choices and do they themselves lead an exemplary lifestyle?

So true. Pleased I found this sight as I now know I am not alone. Thank you and have a good day!

No you are not alone anymore. We are one big HU family who all look after and support each other. Welcome to the site. x

Hi my dear,I’m just a couple of wks in the group and also finding my feet,so to speak

I’m diagnosed with I P F last yr and having to use oxygen

Please don’t let others upset you, I have not smoked- but I know where your coming from.

We live our lives in the period that we are born into and no one has a right to judge 😊🌈

I’m loving getting to engage with people who have issues that apply to me, vital support me thinks. Take care and be proud XTHERESE

How kind of you to give me those thoughts. It is so true that we are born of our time. I hope you have a beautiful day. Take care because the world needs nice people x

Thank you x

Welcome you will find lots of support here we have what we have, and no one wether it’s friends family or whoever should be judgemental. They certainly shouldn’t be making you feel stigmatised or unhappy.

Ah, yes the 70s I think I remember them well, too busy enjoying myself!


I know how you feel. We did not know smoking was bad for us back then. It really upsets me. What else upsets me is when they tell you that you need to quit. Are they aware of how hard it is to quit? They have all this crap out there for drug addicts, to make it easier for them to quit but nothing that really works for nicotine. With all the technology they have today and the number of people that smoke you would think they could come up with better things than they have. Further more, I am an American and here is my beef...why doesn't the government own up to their responsibility for all this. They legalized this stuff and even gave them to our soldiers during war. Told the guys it would help to calm their nerves. Then they become addicted and the government turns their back on them and us too. If they researched tobacco thoroughly they would have not legalized it. What do you think? Let's put the blame where it belongs. I am accepting my part in it...I am suffering from COPD. What are they doing? 😡😡

in reply to Popal1977

Thank you... Have a lovely day!

I agree completely. I saw a Horizon programme years ago about how tobacco was in many cases more addictive than heroin and alcohol. Yet no one would say to them 'Just give up then' or 'It's easy' would they? Or pass comments about it which is rude and intrusive. When did it become acceptable to 'witch hunt' us?

Welcome To You Hun, Enjoy reading all the Posts, We are a Huge Friendly Group and have been for most, many Years. We are all Great Friends Together, we help each other regardless of the Smoking stigma. We Listen, we advise, when we can, we are here to lift your spirits. We are all Virtual Pen Pals with a lot of Knowledge on our Conditions We are only in the Next Room, so easy to Reach out to. Along the way we have Lost some Dear Friends , we reach out to their Families. Our Lives go on , because we all have Each other. Stay Safe, Stay Well. Love n Hugs. XXX Carolina.

in reply to Hacienda

Thank you for your kind welcome. Have a lovely day!

Hello and welcome lovelyart . 😁👋

Hello @lovelyart. I find judgmental comments so irritating especially when they come from a doctor or a nurse who don’t believe me that I haven’t smoked since I was a student. With friends etc I now only say that I have a lung disease with reduced lung function which makes me susceptible to infections (and now Covid). This avoids ‘labels’ and I think that helps x

in reply to UHelga

Awww blessyou. Take care cos the world needs nice people. Hugs x

Many many diseases are a result of lifestyle choices people have made. Diabetes, obesity, many cancers, liver disease, kidney disease etc etc, that doesn’t mean we shun these people anymore than someone with emphysema should be shunned or blamed for their disease. Over eating, drinking too much, poor diet, drug abuse. I think most people have at least one vice that may or may not cause health issues.

in reply to jackdup

So true...... thanks for your reply and have a good day!

That " holier than thou " prat is an inconsiderate idiot. The NHS is there for everyone no matter what. Do they refuse treatment for injured sports people, does an alcoholic get refused treatment. Do the NHS judge each person and decide whether to treat them or not ?. No they dont. Not smoking has only been encouraged and help offered to beat this addiction in the last decade or so. Take no notice of the person that said this. Obviously an inconsiderate and arrogant gobshite.

in reply to Maulics

You have made me feel so much better. Thank you x

Hello and welcome

As well as thoughtless remarks from others, we sometimes look to ourselves and wonder what if l hadn’t done this or should l have done that. Shoulda, woulda, coulda.

I have severe bronchiectasis, never smoked, don’t drink and a vegan, used to long distance run in spare time. Yet here l am.

Unfortunately life takes us down a rough road sometimes.

There is certainly no judgement here and l hope you find it as supportive and caring as l have.

“ Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”

Take care and best wishes. 🌹

in reply to callistra

Thank you. How wise you are and obviously a very caring person. The world needs people like you xx

Properly all of us who listen to idiots like that if u think about it in the 40s 50s 60s eras everybody smoked from actors to singers everybody!!!!!!!! so whoever told u that nonsense then all I can say is it must be nice for them to be so perfect someone told me a while ago it was my fault shame on them so maybe fat people are fat because they ate food take no notice everybody thinks they should conform it's your life

Thank you..... have a good day! here is a hug!

Hugs back to u enjoy your day hun😊

None of my friends know I have emphysema, I would rather keep it to myself until it becomes more difficult to hide. I’m lucky that other than walking up hills, I’m pretty much as I was. I was diagnosed at the age of 59 16 years after I gave up smoking. At least 75% of smokers never get COPD so we are the unlucky ones along with those who have never smoked. I believe there is a genetic link not associated with the alpha 1. My father died with COPD in his eighties. Please ignore the negative comments, you’re among friends here 🧡

Thank you so much. I suppose we are children of our time. I haven't smoked since the 70's but remember how difficult it was to stop. I try to find positives but it did upset me when someone said it was my own fault that i have emphysema. It probably was but we never knew what damage it could do in the 70's. Hope you have a lovely day!

I have bronchiectasis, never smoked but my dad was a heavy smoker, and Everywhere you went in my young days, like a dance hall or cinema, was full of cigarette smoke, so passive smoking was everywhere. also, I think we never had antibiotics so readily available, and coughs lasted longer. Take care, Iris x


in reply to Lyd12

Hi Iris, I Remember The Doctor smoked when my Mother took us to see him, My Mum never smoked. Have a lovely Day in your Garden with Tony. Love C. XXX

in reply to Lyd12

Sorry to hear about your illness. Thank you for being kind enough to reply and have a good day!

My husband never smoked, and here was a no smoking policy in his doctor's surgery. Yet when he went to see the doctor, he would always say "have you got any fags?' :-O

Welcome to the forum and as many above have said these diseases can inflict any one. We are here to help each other Stay safe Anita x

Thankyou for your kind reply

I have Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. Idiopathic means cause unknown even though I smoked for 22 years.They cant prove this was the reason. I was born into smoke,everybody smoked ! It was glamorised. My doctor smoked when I went to see him!Given hindsight I wouldn't have started,I didnt like it at first!😟

in reply to Aingeful

Thank you for making me feel less guilty for past smoking. Just like you I would never have smoked if I had known. Have a beautiful day!

What a disgusting remark lovelyart. I hope the persons perfect who said it. We all have our vices we struggle with mines food. I find it hard because of feeling hungry most times. Smoking never had a hold over me. And i finally stopped December 1990. When my dear Mom died of smoking related disease at 62. Just forget the idiot. Enjoy your life and do your best to keep as fit as possible. Take care Brian

in reply to Bingo88

Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. I feel much better now. I cannot change time so I just make sure my daughters never smoke. Having said that, I cannot make choices for them.

I was a 1961 baby and in them day s smoking was every wear ever sign was smoking. I try not to lesson to none smokers else you do start to think stupid thoughts every one in the world has got a wot if .

in reply to Page22

So so true..... thank you. Have a lovely day!

Hi and welcome 😊 does anyone ever say to a rock climber, you fell off the cliff and broke your leg, it's your fault for Rock climbing? Or to the person landed in a heap of mangled mess, it's your fault you got on the plane? Or to people who were fed smoking as a "cool" thing to do by governments through film, media and advertising on football stadium boards, motor sports and advertising boards etc? To get extra taxes for the government on every packet that was smoked? Just the last one then 😉 If we were living in a just society we would have a claim against the system, I think that's why us Lungies are persecuted, so that we come from a very beaten down place and don't stand up and demand compensation. It's the way my mind went to after I'd been upset by being told it was my own fault, or asked at every appointment "did I smoke?" as if that was the explanation and reason. I went through upset to anger to reasoning and I now have these thoughts in my head just waiting to spill out onto anyone's desk if they dare say anything. All anyone has to do is watch any old movie from the 30s onwards to see....it was encouraged! I am paying a heavy price though, as you are too, and surely that's enough?! Radical thoughts lol 😂

It must be difficult knowing what we know now I have never smoked but my Dad did ,Woodbines , and at the age of 15 I was diagnosed with bronchiectasis following pneumonia and pleurisy. I don’t blame my late father people just did not know

Pay no attention! My sisters have told me fo dnkeys years its my own fault i get ill as dont go to drs soon enough!!!! Welcome,im new here too.its so supportive xx

If the nhs stopped treating everyone who had a hand in their own ailments, they wouldn't be very busy, I suspect. We're all human and fallible. Welcome to the site.

Hello. A very warm welcome to you.

I don't blame my dad for smoking. He had a very poor childhood, then the war. He was discharged from the army because of his cough but lived to 79 and died of emphysema. Never let it stop him from workin g hard all his life. I had a first (and last!) experimental cigarette and hated it. Dad didn't say anything, just letme make my own mind up. I had a cigarette burn in the skirt of a suit I was wearing from a lady next to me on a bus! And the number of times was sat behind a man in a cinema who was puffing out clouds of smoke, lighting a pipe! x

Awh majority of us smoked then ! Don't feel ashamed. Next time just say,

" Oh you had no bad habits then ? Obviously not ! That was the norm in the 60s and 70s, my life and it was a ball " Stay safe x Kate

In the 1930s women were encouraged to smoke, as it helped them stay slim. Shall we blame the beauty business?

Oh and welcome to this site ! There's lots of us !


I certainly felt like that among with lots of others on here. But please stay positive it's the best way to be. Take no notice of what people say about it being your fault, you just be happy and love a healthy lifestyle. We are all here for each other so please continue posting. Have a lovely day and stay safe 😊 Bernadette xx xx 🌈

Welcome to this lovely site. Was a 1961 baby when I was young everyone smoked. I gave up 6 years ago worked with toxic chemicals for 30 plus years in my job. Now lung problems. I worked with chemical before COSH ever came out with no PPE. Also Quiet new to this site. Have had no letter off NHS think I am classed as clinically vulnerable only. So work is looming. Welcome to the site think you will get more support here than anywhere. Big hugs and welcome ⏱🧼

Welcome. I gave up smoking 23 years ago, but the damage had been done.

do I feel guilty? Rhetorical Question and the answer is NO and you should not either,

It was cool to smoke in the 60s and 70s and by the 80s, we got addicted - We are where we are,,

"What you should be doing" - Stop feeling ashamed for a start, nothing else to do on here, you will never be judged,

You post if you need help, we all try and help if we can - Also if you feel you can add to a post with some advice, that another thing to do on here.

Keep well stop worrying.. Ern.

Welcome, I'm a relative newbie to this forum and have had so much support as I've come to terms with bronchiectasis and asthma and what it means. Xxxx

I certainly know that my COPD was caused by my smoking. In a sense it is my fault as I carried on knowing it was bad for me. But there is no point in looking back and saying 'what if'. I make sure my grandchildren know that when they see me continuously coughing its because I smoked. I am determined that they never will and so far I have been successful.

Many health conditions are the result of life choices but none of us are to blame for what has happened to us. Look forward and ignore those who have these kind of opinions. If you look hard enough you will find they have aspects of their lives which are unhealthy, be it diet, alcohol or lack of exercise.

Take care and don't worry


in reply to deejames

Thank you x

Smoking was everywhere, you could buy a single cigarette from the ice cream van outside my secondary school gates in the seventies in Glasgow, hard fact really, don't let the ignorant get to you, so pleased you joined.

in reply to lgf151t

Thanks so much

Don't let theese silly people get to you

I have never smoked but still get silly comments.

Take carexx

hello lovelyart and welcome, well that was a very unhelpful and judgemental thing to say to you! yes i had those feelings at first but it doesn't help any when you're trying to deal with life as it is now, stay safe and well xx

beejaykay,they went to great lengths to warn us about lung cancer,they did,nt tell us about COPD,BK

I’m sure we all would have done things differently if we had known but we’re not perfect so don’t you feel ashamed hold you head up high and keep smiling , be safe xx

Hi there... I am sure you didn't choose this illness... People are so judgemental. What you need is support and understanding like everyone on here. There is so much advice and support here... You gave come to the right place xxx

Somewhat belatedly, hello and welcome 😊

A very warm welcome to you, lovelyart, please do not for 1 second allow those rude ignorant people upset you in any shape or form, you will find that if you were to look into THEIR pedigree there would be many skeletons in their cupboard,I have to say that many people are helpful & caring, but occasionally you come up against the arrogant ones, you just completely ignore their nasty comments.. In the 70's & 80's most people smoked it seemed to be the norm in those days,I myself have never smoked, but I was often in smokers company, & possibly in my case it could be passive smoking, as I have asthma & bronchiectasis, but no one ever thought of that in those days..Please do look after yourself lovelyart, continue to think positive, you will do well..Take care,love,&God bless you always!!xx💝🎊

Yes every time I see a Dr I was born with asthma but when my mom a puff on one of those vapesused to take me to see him he always had s pipe on the go some example that was I've been smoking since I was 15 I'm now 65 and stopped smoking last December but I still having a puff on a vape that is nicotine free The No smoking clinic was giving me all these different things to try none of which worked and some I was getting terrible side effects so I did it on my own I do feel better for it I have asthma emphysema COPD stage 4 that im told is the last stage I was diagnosed in 1991 but my consultants have been brilliant with me they have never lectured me on it they just say" try" and it will help but please dont let these people get to you about it I'm sure there are quite a few on here that will understand what your saying chin up and good luck xx

Oh bless you. I admire your tenacity and positive thinking. It can't be easy with stage4 but I am sure your attitude will hold you strong. Thanks for the uplift. Hugs xxxx

Try to lay aside the feelings of self-recrimination, and try to be positive about the future. I was diagnosed with copd in 2006 and that has not stopped me from going to the gym (in better times) 3x a week. But then I found that exercise kept my copd at bay and even helped it to get a bit better. But that's me. Hope all goes well. James

Hi and welcome this is a great community. Xx

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