Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Quit Smoking: Talk With Your Doctor

“Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease, killing more than 1,200 Americans each day,” wrote David L. Lakey, MD, Texas Department of State Health Services commissioner, in a letter to Texas physicians. “For every person who dies from tobacco use, another 20 suffer from one or more serious smoking-related illnesses. Reducing smoking is one proven way we can help people live longer, healthier lives.”

Dr. Lakey reached out to the state’s physicians to encourage them to participate in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Tips From Former Smokers national tobacco education campaign (Tips 2013). The campaign features real people suffering as a result of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. It aims to raise awareness about the suffering caused by smoking and secondhand smoke exposure and to encourage smokers to quit.

Physicians see the toll tobacco use and secondhand smoke take on their patients’ health every day. More than 70 percent of tobacco users visit their doctor every year. The good news is that these visits provide physicians the opportunity to counsel patients on the dangers of tobacco, help them quit, and improve their chances of a healthy future. The CDC’s latest Talk With Your Doctor initiative, part of the Tips 2013 campaign, encourages patients to seek help from their physician and encourages physicians to use their influence and knowledge to help patients live free from smoking-related diseases.

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