Cigarettes will kill you, like they killed Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy

Anna Kessner, Copy Editor

On February 27, 2015, Trekkies all over the world shed a collective tear. Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock on the original television version of Star Trek, had died at the age of 83.

The beloved Vulcan was cast in the series that started in the mid-1960s and ran for three years. Nimoy was also in multiple Star Trek movies following the series, including the two latest installments that premiered in 2009 and 2013.

According to an article in the New York Times, his wife, Susan Bay Nimory, confirmed that his death was caused by the ending stages of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Smoking is the leading cause of this disease, while secondhand smoke, air pollution, and occupational hazards and exposures may also lead to COPD. In 2010, COPD was said to be the third leading cause of death of Americans, taking around a total of 130,000 lives.

I heard about Nimoy’s death on Facebook (naturally), but I knew that I should expect a call from my dad as well. He was a devout Trekkie—he had always been a fan of Star Trek and owned every single copy of each show, movie, and soundtrack.

My dad also suffers from COPD. Like Nimoy, my dad has been smoking cigarettes for decades. Unlike Nimoy, my dad hasn’t quit. Nimoy had stopped smoking about 30 years ago, but yet quitting the habit does not stop the disease.

My dad was diagnosed about four years ago, and yet he still smokes around a pack and a half of cigarettes a day. To say cigarette smoking is an addiction would be an understatement. He has tried every method there is to quit, but yet he simply cannot break the habit. He picked up his first cigarette when he was 14.


Over the past three years, but my father has been in and out of the hospital three times. The first time was on Christmas Eve of 2012, and he did not come home until a week later. Yup, I got the distinct pleasure of spending that Christmas in the hospital. The fluorescent lights were not exactly what my family was picturing as a white Christmas.

When I see people smoking around campus, I cannot help but feel a little sorry for them. I have seen first-hand what the road to cigarette smoking can lead to. I have friends that get antsy and irritable when they are craving nicotine, just like my dad. I cringe at the thought of them ending up like my dad—dependent on an oxygen machine and taking medication after medication.

But I do not think that people think about the consequences of smoking can lead to. They don’t think long term. They don’t think about how their health and well-being will be affected. They don’t think about how others around them will be affected.

Doctors told my dad last year that he only has 50 percent of his lung capacity left. He gets winded just walking out to our mailbox.

It makes me to see my dad slowing deteriorating in front of my eyes, and it makes me frustrated that I see more and more people nowadays lighting up a cigarette. I’m all for free will and all, but consider what exactly you’re doing to your body before you stick something in your mouth.

Before you get to point where you’re depend on a cigarette, look up the facts at what smoking can lead to. Go to and see what tobacco can do to your body. Trust me, it’s not pretty.

Let’s all try to stay healthy, so we can live long and prosper.