CDC: Tips From Former Smokers — Nathan: Sidelined by Secondhand Smoke


I’m Oglala Sioux
from Pine Ridge. Uh… Secondhand smoke
changed my life dramatically. Uh… I’m not active anymore
when I used to be. Uh, when I used to dance
at powwows competitively, uh… when I wasn’t sick
with this illness, uh… I could dance, you know,
several songs, as compared to now. It takes so much to recuperate, it takes so much time
to recuperate. Uh… And I attribute all that
to secondhand smoke exposure. Uh, when I can’t catch
my breath, it’s like breathing
through a straw. You can’t get
enough air. No matter how much you try,
you can’t get enough air. I see friends that I used to
dance against, and some of them don’t know how sick I am, you know, how bad
my illness is. So they’ll say,
Where is your outfit?” You know, “Come on,
let’s go dance.” And, you know, when somebody
says something like that to you, of course, you know,
it’s like somebody challenging you
to a basketball game. Like, “Oh, all right,
let’s go,” you know? But, you know up here
you want to go do it. But your body says no. So… So… I’ve had people ask me,
“How do you cope with it? How does that make you feel?
Doesn’t that make you mad?” I say, “Yeah, it does, but there’s nothing
I can do about it.” But there is one thing
I can do about the exposure
to secondhand smoke — I can make people
aware of it, what it can and will do
to you. So that’s what I’m doing.