Lung Cancer Survivor Pleads With Smokers To Stop

"I was lucky to see my kids grow up, my grandkids."

Johnnie Crumpton has been a survivor five years.  Diagnosed with lung cancer, she knows it was from decades of smoking.

"I didn't realize your clothes smell so bad, your coats and sweaters and stuff. It's horrible," she says.

Johnnie's cancer had spread to her brain.  She only wishes she had stopped smoked sooner, because the cancer and the chemo has taken its toll.

"Walking up the steps, I was tired. I can't do things I used to do, I get very tired. Everything changes," she says.

Doctors say patches, nicotine gum, and lozenges are all helpful in breaking the habit. And there's an immediate benefit, even if you've been smoking for many years.

Dr. Ellen Remenchik is an internal specialist at UT Health Center in Tyler.

"There have been studies that your cardiovascular risk is lower even when you are over the age of 65. Your heart attack rate, a lower stroke rate," she says.

Johnnie says: "Some of the doctors say there go the miracle lady, because they didn't expect me to live when I was in the hospital three months."

Johnnie says she'll keep spreading the word, and prays others will get her message and quit.

"Don't smoke. Don't do it, don't risk your life."

You can enroll in a free stop smoking course. For more information, call the U.T. Health Center at Tyler.

Morgan Palmer, reporting.