July 18 2024


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Nimoy: COPD Unfair

2 min read


When diagnosed with chronic lung disease, Leonard Nimoy was not happy, feeling that it was unfair to have had this happen so many years after quitting smoking.

The actor had stopped smoking roughly thirty years ago.

Diagnosed last May, Nimoy said, “I thought, ‘This is unfair. I quit a long time ago. Why is this happening to me?'”

“But it’s a lesson that I had to learn,” he said. “I damaged the lung cells many years ago and then as age begins the damage of lung cells as well you begin to feel it. So, it’s something that can stick up on you later.”

Nimoy uses an oxygenator, not a tank of oxygen. The oxygenator, explained Nimoy during an appearance on Piers Morgan Live, “gives me oxygen by it extracts oxygen out of the atmosphere and I get it up my nose when I need it.

“I’m still using it sporadically but a couple of years ago I didn’t need it at all. Now, there are days when I needed it several times a day.

“I get short of a breath and suddenly feel like I can’t get a full breath, I can’t catch my breath. So, I have to go to the machine.”

Nimoy admitted to having been a heavy smoker. “I tell people that I was an Olympic championship smoker,” he said. “If there have been a championship in the addiction, I could have qualified. I could smoke in the shower. I can smoke any place.”

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4 thoughts on “Nimoy: COPD Unfair

  1. I’m really sad this has happened to him and I wish him all the best. That said, let this be a lesson to all of us that the effects of bad choices do not discriminate against anyone. Doesn’t matter who you are or what your world view is, if you make a bad choice, you set yourself up to deal with the consequences of that choice.

  2. Indeed. Indeed. Having said that, what Mr. Nimoy bought himself by quitting was the chance to deal with the effects in his eighties, vice back in the 1980s, and that matters.

    There is a certain nobility in knowing one has won the victory, but will one day lose the war (as the body loses its maintnenance and repair capabilities) for it reinforces the need to live each day well, knowing most likely the Fates have already cut your cord.

  3. I think it would be more respectful to Mr. Nimoy to put a moratorium on posting that airport photo (which he didn’t exactly pose for).

  4. Agreed, but I empathize with Nimoy’s anguish. People can live several lifetimes over the span of thirty years, and often change drastically over the course of time in their outlook, opinions…. and certainly health habits. It can be frustrating indeed when a mistake you made as a younger man, especially one that you thought you’d rectified and put behind you long ago, comes back to haunt you in some form. After three decades, it can feel like being made to pay for the mistake of a total stranger.

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