21.38 years

The years of life that Dad lost to cigarette smoking, according to my calculations based upon this BBC article. He smoked 3 1/2 packs of Marlboros a day — 70 cigarettes — an addiction he picked up in high school, although I based my calculations on 40 years of smoking.

He died on July 15 from a severe heart attack, this following a leg amputation after gangrene set in on his foot from poor circulation. Other contributing causes of death: possible ischemic bowel, severe peripheral vascular disease and chronic obstructive lung disease. He was 60, far too young for the medical complications he endured.

Why do people still smoke?

I had my dad in my life five years longer than Dad had his. But my grandpa, Charles C. Lochrie, died in his 70s. The nonsmokers seem to make it into the triple digits. I just wonder how cigarette stock holders can gaze in the mirror, knowing that they’re pushing a product that does nothing but hasten death. And causes a whole lot of unnecessary pain and suffering.

But that won’t bring Dad back.

-Christy

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