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Fazeley Mayor's warning over dangers of smoking

By Tamworth Herald  |  Posted: May 09, 2014

By Helen Machin

  • Wake-up call...Simon Clements is recovering at home.

  • Wake-up call...Simon Clements is recovering at home.

  • Simon with his wife Tina, former Tamworth mayor.

  • Battered, bruised and scarred...Simon's leg from where surgeons removed a vein to repair his heart.

Comments (5)

Fazeley Mayor Simon Clements speaks out about the dangers of smoking after having a double heart bypass operation last week.

"I SMOKED for 34 years, I worked 80-hour weeks. I had a penchant for burgers and I drank endless coffees and energy drinks to keep me going..." Simon Clements firmly believes that it was his unhealthy lifestyle that resulted in him needing a double heart bypass.

The Fazeley mayor underwent a SIX-HOUR operation at the University Hospital of Coventry last week, during which surgeons removed a vein from his leg to repair his damaged heart.

Back home in Wilnecote, he has an eight-inch scar down his chest and a scar from ankle to thigh on one leg where the vein was removed.

He is sometimes short of breath and has been told that he must spend the next 12 weeks doing nothing, just recovering from his major surgery.

Simon had his first heart attack when he was 35 and then a more severe one in March this year, after which doctors told him of the seriousness of his situation.

Luckily his double heart bypass was a success, although he was rushed back into intensive care two days later when his lungs collapsed. At one point he was hooked up to 40 different monitors.

He said: "There are no heart problems in our family – in fact all our family are long-lived, so I put my heart attack down to my lifestyle. I had been smoking for 34 years, I had the stress of working very long hours, I was eating all the wrong foods and eating at the wrong time of day.

"I ran two security companies, I would come home after a 15-hour day, go to bed at 9pm and be up again a 4.20am in the morning, seven days a week.

"Breakfast would be five fags and three coffees.

"I stopped smoking when I had the heart attack. A friend brought me an E-cigarette and I have been using that and it's brilliant. I've switched the energy drinks for pineapple juice.

"I have been told to do nothing for the first few weeks except to stand up every two hours. I'm on incredibly strong painkillers. Coughing is like being shot and even the effort of cleaning my teeth hurts!"

"I started smoking when I was 14. Obviously I am not suggesting that everyone who smokes will have a heart attack, there's a lot more to it than that, but if my story stops one person smoking, it will be a good thing."

And he says that once he has recovered, he will be willing to speak to local school pupils about his story.

"All 14-year-olds think they're invincible – I just hope that if an invincible 14-year-old sees me like this – and realises I'm only 48, they might think twice about smoking."

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5 comments

  • harleyrider21  |  May 20 2014, 9:59PM

    Using the tobacco fear to police our lives http://tinyurl.com/pthj3t8

  • harleyrider21  |  May 20 2014, 8:35PM
  • harleyrider21  |  May 20 2014, 8:34PM

    Study: live to 100 by defying all health advice Einstein College recently studied folks who lived past age 95. The reluctantly reported result: "People who live to 95 or older are no more virtuous than the rest of us in terms of their diet, exercise routine or smoking and drinking habits." Einstein College press release: http://tinyurl.com/ncog58a ... 78&pt=news Did you notice in link above that they just state that the very old smoked about as much as did people who died younger, with no detail given, although detail is given regarding eating, boozing, exercise, and so on? Well, when it came to publishing the abstract with the National Institutes of Health, they ignore smoking results entirely! They do say that smoking was studied, but make no mention whatsoever that smoking was not shown to impair longevity: again, as with the press release, precise detail is given regarding other studied factors, but when it came to smoking -- the holy taboo of all holy taboos -- they simply couldn't bear even to mention their own finding! Here it is: the official NIH abstract: http://tinyurl.com/p8flm34 You'd probably have to pay about *50 to buy the full study from the Wiley service where it's posted. But you don't have to. A reporter for an independent publication who read the study tells us that about 74% of 70-year old men smoked and that smokers still made up the majority of over-95 men at 60%, while 26% of 70-year-old women smoked and a greater proportion of about 30% of over-95 women smoked, and that, all-in-all, the oldest folks did not particularly follow any of the Healthist advice to exercise, eat "healthy", or avoid booze and tobacco. The news article: http://tinyurl.com/orovemk ... pectations Did you note the researcher's conclusion: "Although this study demonstrates that centenarians can be obese, smoke and avoid exercise ... We should watch our weight, avoid smoking and be sure to exercise, since these activities have been shown to have great health benefits for the general population, including a longer lifespan."

  • harleyrider21  |  May 20 2014, 8:33PM

    Its even odder that he doesn't state the truth today. It was his own genetic pre-disposition to heart disease that caused it not his life style choises! Scientists question link between saturated fat and heart disease "Saturated fat does not cause heart disease"—or so concluded a big study published in March in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. How could this be? The very cornerstone of dietary advice for generations has been that the saturated fats in butter, cheese and red meat should be avoided because they clog our arteries. For many diet-conscious Americans, it is simply second nature to opt for chicken over sirloin, canola oil over butter. The new study's conclusion shouldn't surprise anyone familiar with modern nutritional science, however. The fact is, there has never been solid evidence for the idea that these fats cause disease. We only believe this to be the case because nutrition policy has been derailed over the past half-century by a mixture of personal ambition, bad science, politics and bias. Our distrust of saturated fat can be traced back to the 1950s, to a man named Ancel Benjamin Keys, a scientist at the University of Minnesota. Keys was formidably persuasive and, through sheer force of will, rose to the top of the nutrition world—even gracing the cover of Time magazine—for relentlessly championing the idea that saturated fats raise cholesterol and, as a result, cause heart attacks.

  • MichaelJMcF  |  May 20 2014, 5:50PM

    Odd that he doesn't feel he should warn kids against drinking endless coffees and energy drinks and working years of 80 hour weeks with not days off. - MJM

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