Huntington's Disease Support Information


Index~HD Search
Section 1 General Information
Section 2 HD Specific
Section 3 State Info
Section 4 Misc
Hunt-Dis Scholarship Fund
Advanced Stages of Huntington's Disease
Caregivers Handbook
Half jokingly and half seriously, physicians who are experts in caring for people with HD have referred to HD as "one of the smoking diseases." Certainly a very large portion of people with HD smoke cigarettes. People with HD often view it as "one of the last pleasures I have left." Smoking becomes symbolic of independence.

Smokers and their caregivers are faced with a number of problems. Some folks with HD have an altered sense of hot and cold. Their fingers are often burned lighting cigarettes or smoking them down to the butt.
 Impaired judgement can make them unaware of the danger of burns to clothing, ashtray fires, or lighting the cigarettes of friends who are themselves unsafe smokers.
The movement disorder makes it unsafe to use and dispose of matches and lighters. Impulse control problems may drive them to take another person's lit cigarette right out of his mouth.

Caregiver Tips

  • Take seriously the smoker's emotional need to smoke.
  • Discuss the use of nicotine patches
  • Build a reward system to encourage him to quit.
  • Use large ashtrays that are solid, sturdy, and untippable.
  • Limit smoking to a well-protected area.
  • Purchase nonflammable clothing, furniture, and floor covering.
  • If necessary, have the smoker wear asbestos vest.
  • Install extra smoke detectors.
  • Use a "smoker's robot". It holds a cigarette to prevent ashes and embers from being dropped
The following information is not from the Advanced Stages of HD Guidebook.  It provides links to products to help with someone with HD who smokes:
Smoking Cover-Up
Residents' who smoke should not light-up without a cover-up. This lightweight fire-proof apron cannot be ignited by a cigarette, cigar or burning match. Full sized, it covers the lap and chest. The special design prevents cigarettes from falling between the residents and wheel-chair  Price   $29.00 

Fireproof Apron
This fireproof apron is intended only as an aid in the prevention of accidental ignition of clothing. Depending upon the physical and mental condition of your charge, it is prudent to be with them when smoking even when they are using our Smokers Apron. This product does not need laundering but should be cleaned with a spray-type cleaner and a damp cloth or sponge. Item # Sap614   $34.95 ea.
Smoker's Safety Bib
At last - safety for smokers! Our flame retardant smoker's bib of NOMEX®, a
space age high temperature resistant nylon fiber originally developed and patented by Dupont to protect firefighters, nuclear and chemical workers, race car drivers and jet pilots. Fastens behind the neck with Velcro® and covers all the way down to the knees for complete peace of mind. Handy pockets. Size 26" wide x 36" long.   Style #904  Price: $39.98 Click on:
Made by Robin Keller whose wife has HD

Safe Smoking
Cigarette Holder and
Item # NC28870 IF YOU HAVE TO SMOKE, SMOKE SAFELY!! Safe Smoking Cigarette
Holder and Ashtray Allows a cigarette to rest safely in the holder that is attached to an ashtray base. Features a 36in (91cm) tube with a mouthpiece. Safety for persons that choose to smoke when normal mobility is hindered. Price: $34.95