cigarette-ashtray Realsimple.comAbraham Samuel, an avid-smoker turned anti-smoking campaigner, died in Dubai this week. Abraham, who died at the age of 53, used to smoke two packs a day for 35 years till he was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2010.

When Samuel was first found out about the cancer, instead of wallowing in self-pity, he decided to convince smokers to give up the habit. The Indian cancer patient then took to anti-smoking campaigns in unusual ways. He used to approach people and plead with them to quit smoking, earning him the title ‘cigarette snatcher’.

He once said, “When I see someone smoking, I simply walk up to them and ask them to give it up. People don’t always like it, but I don’t stop myself. Sometimes I even open my shirt and show them my radiation marks – so they understand the severity of my condition.”

A few months before his death, Samuel said to a reporter, “I don’t know how much time I have left in this world, but I will do as much as I can to tell people to give up smoking.” Many smokers reportedly kicked the habit after hearing Samuel’s pleas and stories.

He worked in a stationery company in Dubai. His sponsor had not cancelled his visa even though Samuel was unable to work for months. Samuel refused to go to his hometown in India for treatment. He was admitted in a hospital in Dubai about two weeks back. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

(Image courtesy: RealSimple.com)