ALTON — Thirty years of smoking a pack-and-a-half of cigarettes per day. Breathing problems. Three trips to the emergency department. Throat cancer. Nearly losing his vocal cords. Radiation treatment. A temporary tracheotomy leading to a soft food-only diet. A stroke. Depression. Relying on oxygen and a cane daily.
For Ralph Federle of Alton, it all adds up to one message to young people who want to start smoking or vaping: don’t do it.