'Smoking Killed Me' displayed on hearse

March 3, 2010 at 5:30 PM

DOVER, England, March 3 (UPI) -- Funeral directors said they carried out the last wish of a British man who died from emphysema by placing signs on his hearse reading: "Smoking Killed Me."

Paul Sullivan of Sullivan and Sons Funeral Directors said Albert "Dick" Whittamore, who died in February at the age of 85, was buried Tuesday in Dover, England, after a procession through town with signs on the hearse bearing the longtime smoker's final message, the BBC reported Wednesday.

"Although he had reached the age of 85, he had been suffering for a while and wanted to do his bit to warn others about smoking," Sullivan said. "He specified that that's what he wanted in his will. We gave it some thought but after a while we decided that that's what he had requested."

Quit, a charity focused on stop-smoking initiatives, applauded Whittamore's anti-smoking message.

"We understand Dick had emphysema, which is a lung condition caused by smoking which results in people struggling for breath," a Quit spokesman said. "Dick is sending out a strong message to smokers as he doesn't want others to suffer."

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