Richard Briars / Emphysema

Will the news that Richard Briars has emphysema raise its profile and that of lung diseases in general? What do you reckon?

I'm not too sure as I'm not particularly keen on some of his comments. He is nearly 80, so many people might just skim over it as being of little consequence, thinking him lucky to have reached that age. He says he stopped smoking 10 years ago and reckons that was too late - rubbish, it is never too late especially if he looked after himself. However people might read that and think "why bother if it is going to get me in the end".

20 Replies

  • I agree. He said that unless you give up before age 30, it's too late. He stopped at 70, now almost 80 so he's done quite well really. I wonder what his FEV1 is?

    Another one who has it very badly is Clive James. He reckoned before Christmas that he would be lucky to see this winter out. I really like Clive James.

    Lynne xx

  • I meant to say that I agree it's never too late to stop. I read about it on aol, somewhere I never post but most comments were of the 'it serves him right if he smoked' type. Mainly from non smokers I think, how callous people are.

  • Genuinely nice chap a real gentleman a much better profile for a condition than those portrayed in the stop smoking adverts of an old lady looking frail and admitting it was all her own fault that smoking had been her down fall.

  • I have just read a couple of articles about the things he has said as I was curious.

    I think a couple of his comment were ill thought out

    But I also wonder and suspect that if he realized that some of his comment may cause anyone to think after the age of 30, there is no point in stopping, I think he would likely correct it. II would like to think so

    I would hate to think anyone would ever think it is pointless to give up smoking, no matter what stage you are at, there is always a benefit

    Anything that raises awareness is a good thing.



  • Richard Briers story on MSN today -

    I love the line "... I get very breathless, which is a pain in the backside...", wonder how that will translate to other languages !?

    He reckons he smoked over half a million cigs in his time, but gave up 10 years ago. He was diagnosed with emphysema only 5 years ago. Funny how this happens, people give up smoking, then get worse quickly...?

    He's still working by the way, he's doing voice work for Mouse and Mole, an animated Christmas special for the BBC.

    It's news today but, like some of our blogs, will slip off the bottom of the screen far too quickly...

  • I've always wondered about this " Funny how this happens, people give up smoking, then get worse quickly ". I gave up smoking becuase I had angina. My sats at the time were 98%. When I smoked I never got short of breath. I used to get puffed out once in a while. At 60 I used to do some amateur surfing with my daughters. I could work doing landscaping all day long. About 12 weeks after giving up smoking I couldn't walk 50 yards without gasping for breath and was then diagnosed with COPD. The respiratory nurse at PH said it was just coincidence that it showed up just at that time. It doesn't make sense as I would have got breathless before I gave up smoking as well. No one seems to have an answer.

  • I have, or at least my interpretation of why.

    Once you stop smoking the tar and gunk in your lungs thins out and eventually clears. Now all those little bugs in the air are able to get at your body, where they were prevented before. Chest infection after chest infection...

    It's a bit like when they used to use tar to protect a wooden boat, or a fence. Once you slap it on the wood is tainted for life, and you have to keep applying the stuff to maintain a seal. If you stop adding tar then as time goes on it becomes less effective and the wood will rot.

    I've yet to find anyone in the medical profession who will dispute this... ;-)

  • - Yep, your right, a pal of mine ( 62), for the last seven years ran the Marathon in London, and at the same time, had a few ciggies each day, within three weeks of giving up the fags - he can hardly climb the stairs in his house without puffing and blowing, and thats the end of his Marathon runs, now he asks," If and when the gunk in my lungs clears eventually, will I be able to return to Marathon running? any answers folks ? ......personally, I doubt it, but we live in hopes. My Consultant calls Lungs " Little sods" ! - you do right by them ( give up smoking ), but they still tend to "Punish " you to varying degrees, unlike the Liver which in many cases can repair itself " .

  • I had a similar idea but only to do with emphysema. When you smoke the tar and gunk fills up the damaged part of the lungs so you are using the good part of the lungs to breathe ( a bit like lung reduction surgery ). When you stop smoking the rubbish clears and you start using the damaged part of the lung. I have known people with severe COPD who have started smoking again because they can breathe easier. Not recommended as the damage to the lungs will only get a lot worse.

  • Not recommended are the very words I had in mind too...

    Some of the gunk would form residue in the lungs and you'd cough it up from time to time. Perhaps it could block off a damaged section if there was insufficient airflow to shift it.

    I've been told by people who know me that I should go back to smoking and have my morning cough and splutter to clear the gunge for the day, as I used to. That I need to prove to the people who say that stopping smoking is a good thing that I would live to be over 100 by restarting.

    I can't afford it though... :O

  • I was fine when I smoked and wasn't 3 months after I stopped, then diagnosed with COPD. My doc says that smoking opens the airways, so you don't get symptoms whist still smoking. If you do, it probably means its severe stage.

    Lynne xx

  • You also put more effort into inhaling the smoke, it's a very concious suck and blow process. A similar technique is used with our inhalers, but that's only a couple of 'drags' at a time so isn't giving our lungs the same amount of exercise...?

  • I am very severe stage according to my consultant but I had no symptoms, as such, when I smoked. I used to cough up mucus but never got breathless. If my lungs were damaged that much I would have got breathless. They say the alveoli lose there elasticity over time so I should have felt that before giving up smoking not 3 months after. For the first few weeks of giving up smoking I could breathe very well, then all of a sudden it goes.

  • He should contact B.L.F. Pronto

  • I agree with you gillyj, and we really need some famous faces to hook up with us and the BLF .

    So people if you have a high public profile, the do please help and put yourself forward.

    You could do a power good for the world go Lung Disease.

    Have a great day every one, breath easy now.

  • I was saddened to read about Richard Briers but it is never too late to stop smoking. I thought Clive James was already dead so there's a turn up. Hope everyone is enjoying some much needed sunshine today. xxx

  • I agree about not going back to the fags but have to say my breathing got better to start with and then became more breathless as time went on, some days are worse than others but I do believe if I still smoked I would be alot worse than I am, I am 62 and gave up 6 years ago. My father never gave up and died at 53 from severe emphysema so it all depends on the individual in my opinion.

    Breath easy xx

  • I am only just at 4 weeks since giving them up

    I have to admit, I am still waiting for my breathing to feel better though I don't think it is any worse (yet)



  • Liz Dawn who used to play Vera Duckworth in Corrie has emphysema. x

  • It's all part of the "celebrity "culture ,I have only skimmed the posts but any one who thinks smoking will help them are unreal denial and living in cloud cuckoo land.


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