Bill had diabetes and he used to smoke. Cigarette smoking made his diabetes much worse. In this TV spot from CDC’s Tips From Former Smokers campaign, Bill explains the serious health problems he developed by age 40, including kidney failure, blindness in one eye, and a leg amputated due to poor circulation. Bill suggests that smokers make a list of everything they are willing to give up if they continue to smoke. Bill died from heart disease at age 42.

More about Bill

We are deeply saddened by the passing of a true public health hero, Bill Busse. By the age of 40, Bill had endured kidney failure, blindness in one eye and a leg amputation because of poor circulation. These were complications from his diabetes made much worse by his cigarette smoking.

Bill was angry with himself that he ever accepted that first cigarette. “When I was 15, I started smoking. It was a stupid thing I wish I could take back.”

His serious health problems did not stop Bill from bravely coming forward to help warn other smokers of some of the dangers they faced if they didn’t quit smoking. Nor did his health problems stop him from enjoying time with his kids.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bill’s wife, two children and two step-children, as well as, his parents and sister.

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