Leonard Nimoy has lung disease, urges fans to quit smoking

Leonard Nimoy, shown here at the May 2013 premiere of "Star Trek Into Darkness," has been diagnosed with lung disease and is using that as a lesson for his fans.
(Frazer Harrison / Getty Images)

Leonard Nimoy, best known as Mr. Spock of “Star Trek,” has been diagnosed with a lung disease and is lobbying fans to quit smoking in order to prevent a similar fate of living less and not prospering.

The 82-year-old actor announced the news on Twitter last week after a photograph of him being wheeled through an airport wearing an oxygen mask startled fans, according to E! News.

“I quit smoking 30 yrs ago. Not soon enough. I have COPD. Grandpa says, quit now!! LLAP,” the living legend tweeted, adding his signature abbreviation for the half-Vulcan’s “live long and prosper” motto.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of lung diseases that block airflow and make breathing difficult, according to the Mayo Clinic. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the two most common COPD conditions.

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Damage to the lungs cannot be reversed in COPD, but there are various methods to reduce further damage and manage symptoms, the clinic said.

About a week after making the announcement, Nimoy returned to Twitter on Thursday to remind fans of the hazards of smoking.

“Smokers, please understand. If you quit after you’re diagnosed with lung damage it’s too late. Grandpa says learn my lesson. Quit now,” the “Fringe” star pleaded, adding. “I’m doing OK. Just can’t walk distances. Love my life, family, friends and followers.”

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Still, the actor, director and photographer isn’t letting the illness hamper him from working, or tweeting a plug.

“Just taped my comments for Star Trek Fest to be aired on EPIX Feb. 16th. Still enjoying my life. LLAP,” he wrote.

The author of “I Am Not Spock” most recently appeared as Spock Prime in last summer’s “Star Trek Into Darkness. “American Horror Story’s” Zachary Quinto played the film’s version of the iconic pointy-eared character, though Nimoy’s cameo as Spock Prime was part of the film’s premise that previous “Trek” stories were part of an alternate yet totally legit universe.

Raise your hand if you need a mind meld to help explain that.


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