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Ozark Man Quits Smoking After Heart Attack

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Smoking is far more harmful than we originally thought, according to a new report from the U.S. Surgeon General.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Smoking is far more harmful than we originally thought, according to a new report from the U.S. Surgeon General.

It links smoking to at least ten illnesses besides cancer.

It's been 50 years since the Surgeon General issued the landmark study linking smoking to lung cancer.

Even with all we know about the dangers, 18 percent of Americans still light up.

That included one Ozark man who smoked for 21 years until a wake up call one week ago.

Jason McGuire is proud to be called a quitter.

"I don't even want to smoke a cigarette now, I'm done," he said.

The soccer coach smoked a pack a day for 20 years, until last Sunday.

"During the soccer game I started having real bad chest pains and knew right away it was a heart attack," he said, "They went up and put two stents in my heart."

He has tried to quit before, because he knew the harm the cigarettes were causing to his body.

"I have high cholesterol and there's no family history of it or anything. I've had chronic back problems," he said.

A new report by the U.S. Surgeon General shows that heart issues and lung cancer aren't the only illnesses smoking can cause.

It's now linked to diabetes, Rheumatoid arthritis, and liver cancer.

Smoking causes one of every three cancers in this country.

This Ozark dad said he learned his lesson the hard way.

He hopes other smokers heed the doctors' warning, so they don't have to.

"Look at your daughter, look at your family, they're the reason you need to be here longer," he said.

McGuire is just glad he stopped before it was too late.

"I'm going to have a long life after this," he said.

In the last 50 years, 20 million Americans have died because of smoking.

The Surgeon General report shows that 5.6 million American children will die prematurely from smoking related illnesses unless the current smoking rate declines.
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