You need to stop smoking doctor's orders

The Buffalo News
4 Apr 2009
     


Most anti-smoking efforts target smokers, but a new media campaign launched today is aimed directly at doctors, nurse practitioners and physicians assistants.

"Your Patients Are Listening" features images of patients with enormous ears to dramatize smokers' receptiveness to advice and assistance from their doctor to stop smoking.

The kick off was held at the Erie County Health Department where Chief Medical Officer Dr. Edwin Heidelberger talked about what clinicians can do to help their patients quit.

"The five As," he said. "First, ask you're patient if they smoke. Then advise them to quit. Assess if they are willing to make the attempt to quite smoking. Assist with counseling and medicine. And the last piece is arranging for follow up, usually within one week after the quit date."

The impact is tremendous, Heidelberger said. When a physician intervenes, a smoker has a 30 percent better chance of quitting.

"Seventy percent of smokers want to quit. Of those, many are successful if the physician is there to listen," he said.

The Roswell Park Cancer Institute is home to one of New York state's 19 local Tobacco Cessation Centers. Staff provides free assistance, training and consultation to clinicians and health care organizations to improve stop smoking services in Erie, Niagara, Genesee and Orleans counties.

Tobacco addiction is the leading preventable cause of death in the state. Approximately 25,500 New Yorkers die every year from smoking.

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