Sci-fi icon Leonard Nimoy opened up on Monday about the culture around smoking that eventually contributed to his developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), telling CNN host Piers Morgan that it was actually promoted as being healthy for you in his younger days.
“The big advertising campaign for Camels was, ‘More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette,’” Nimoy told Morgan, adding that they were billed as being good for one’s lungs.
“Which is extraordinary, now, to think of that,” Morgan concurred.
The 82-year-old Star Trek star said that at one point, he was smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. But, as he revealed on Friday, he still contracted COPD 30 years after quitting. The disease is the third-leading cause of death in the U.S., trailing only heart disease and cancer.
“I tell people that I was an Olympic championship smoker,” Nimoy said to Morgan. “If there had been a championship in the addiction, I could have qualified. I could smoke in the shower. I could smoke anyplace. It was part of my culture, it was part of my gang, my guys, it was cool to be able to light a cigarette.”
Watch Nimoy discuss the disease with Morgan, as aired on CNN on Monday, below.