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Indian 'cigarette snatcher' dies in Dubai

Dubai, Aug 1, 2013 (PTI)
File image: For representational purpose

An Indian cancer patient, who campaigned against smoking in unusual ways such as confronting strangers in public places and pleading with them to quit smoking, succumbed to lung cancer in a Dubai hospital.

Abraham Samuel, 53, popularly known as 'cigarette snatcher' died on Sunday evening. Samuel is survived by his wife and two daughters aged 22 and 20.

He smoked two packets a day for 35 years and was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2010.It was then that he turned to approaching strangers in public places and pleading with them to quit smoking earning the title of "cigarette snatcher", the Gulf News report said.Samuel's method of taking upon himself to "convert" smokers around him instead of indulging in self-pity had its effect on a lot of people who chose to stop smoking.

"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. Sometime I even open my shirt and show them my radiation marks – so they understand the severity of my condition.

"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," Samuel had told a newspaper few months back.

Several people apparently quit the smoking after listening about his woes, the report said.

"After reading about Abraham, I've decided to throw my cigarette packet away. God gave us a healthy body, why should we damage it?," an erstwhile smoker was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

Two weeks back Abraham was admitted to the hospital as he had refused to go to India for treatment.

He worked in a stationery company, earning Rs 57,700 (3,500 dirhams) a month. His sponsor did not cancel his visa even though he was unable to work for months.†


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