City pulls no punches with anti-smoking ads


Hard-hitting anti-smoking adverts, showing graphically how people suffering smoking-related illnesses suffer before they die, are broadcast from today.

The ads, produced by the city’s Department of Health, have the blunt title “Suffer Every Minute” and hammer home the stark reality of dying from a smoking-related illness.

The city’s message on diseases such as emphysema or stroke, pulls no punches: “Dying from smoking is rarely quick … and never painless. When smoking leads to emphysema or stroke you can suffer every minute of every day.”

The ads, seen in advance by Metro, are a harsh reminder of the suffering of the sick — but also of the life-changing effect caring for a dying smoker has on their loved ones.

In one ad, a woman dying from the effects of a stroke has her diaper changed by her husband.
In another a smoker with emphysema is seen gasping for breath.

Susan Kansagra, assistant commissioner of the Bureau of Tobacco Control told Metro: “In our research, we find that smokers are much more afraid of suffering from smoking-related health effects than of dying from them.  We wanted to continue our hard-hitting anti-smoking education by reminding smokers that the health effects are devastating and debilitating, and impact not only the quality of life of the smoker, but of those who live with and must care for the smoker.”  

The campaign runs from today until March 24 and contains advice for smokers on the widespread help available to those wanting to quit.

A community health survey found that 960,000 adults smoke in New York City — and last year nearly 760,000 of them tried to quit.

Smoking: The disease facts

What is emphysema?

» Emphysema is part of a lung disease known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  
» Emphysema begins with the destruction of air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs where oxygen from the air is exchanged for carbon dioxide in the blood. … Damage to the air sacs is irreversible and results in permanent “holes” in the tissues of the lower lungs. As air sacs are destroyed, the lungs are able to transfer less and less oxygen to the bloodstream, causing shortness of breath.

What is stroke?

» Stroke is a cardiovascular disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. 
» During both types of stroke (ischemic and hemorrhagic), the brain can’t get the blood (and oxygen) it needs and can suffer serious damage. 

Does smoking put me at risk?

» Smoking is the major cause of COPD. The poisons in cigarette smoke can weaken the lungs’ defense against infections, narrow air passages, cause swelling in air tubes and destroy air sacs.  
» About 80 percent of all COPD is caused by cigarette smoking.

» Cigarette smoking is an important risk factor for stroke.
» The risk of ischemic stroke in current smokers is about double that of nonsmokers after adjustment for other risk factors. 
» The use of oral contraceptives combined with cigarette smoking greatly increases stroke risk (among women).

The stark truth

Metro asked Dr. Ronald Crystal, of New York’s Weill Cornell Medical Center to outline the stages a patient goes through from developing emphysema — to death.

» Stage 1. Early symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease such as emphysema: These include breathlessness, wheezing and coughing up mucus.
» Stage 2. As COPD progresses, parts of the airways collapse making breathing more difficult, which can mimic the feeling of suffocation. This lung impairment diminishes the oxygen supply to the blood, causing the skin to become bluish in color. Parts of the lung may rupture, causing air to leak out of the lung, which produces a sharp sudden pain and shortness of breath. This condition, called pneumothorax, requires immediate intervention by a doctor.
» Stage 3. Towards the end stages of COPD, many become incapable of climbing stairs or walking short distances; they become confined to living on one floor of their home and eventually become bedbound. Weight loss becomes inevitable as the gut begins to shut down and the body focuses its energy on other organs, such as the brain, heart and lungs, in effort to prolong survival.
» Stage 4. Death: End-stage patients may lose the ability to breathe on their own, becoming reliant on a ventilator until death. Death may result from respiratory failure, characterized by severe breathlessness and the feeling of drowning, heart failure, or pulmonary embolism, the clotting of blood in the arteries preventing blood flow to the lungs.

» Website:
» Phone number: 646-962-2333 (to schedule an appointment), 646-962-2672 (for research study inquiries)


Paint Nite: Get drunk and make a painting…

At Paint Nite, New Yorkers can drink and make a painting at a New York City bar.


Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…


Donut capers stymie police in Oregon

For more than a month, mysterious vandals have been smearing pastries on cars, depositing donuts in lawns and leaving cakes strewn about the streets.


U.S., European airlines halt flights to Israel due…

U.S. and European airlines halted flights to Tel Aviv in an effort to ensure passenger safety as turmoil in Israel and the region has intensified.


Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.


Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.


'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.


PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.


MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack


2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?


5 players to watch at Giants training camp

Metro takes a look at five players who will be on everyone’s mind when Giants training camp gets underway.


'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.


Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.


5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.


Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…


Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.