Science

Doctors urged to help patients quit smoking

By Randell Suba , May 25, 2013 11:01 AM EDT
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a new campaign called "Talk With Your Doctor," that encourages smokers to seek the help of physicians if they want to quit smoking. The CDC campaign also urges doctors to be more pro-active by asking patients if they smoke and offer their assistance to give up the habit.

According to the CDC, about 70 percent of smokers consult doctors on a regular basis but most smokers try to quit without any professional help.

The agency reiterated that the chances of successfully quitting, doubles when someone asks for assistance and advice from physicians. Medical experts can provide prescription drugs, nicotine replacements, resources, and counseling to help people quit smoking.

"Every doctor should do everything possible to help their patients quit. It is still too often not part of the routine doctor visit," explained CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden in an interview.

The "Talk With Your Doctor" anti-smoking campaign makes use of advertisements online and on national television. The ads feature former smokers giving tips on how to quit.

"You can quit. Talk with your doctors for help," that's the call-to-action of every anti-smoking ad of the CDC. These anti-smoking ads will air between May 27 and June 2.

The CDC also has tips for he medical doctors who may not pay too much attention on the possible number of smokers on their patients' list. Doctors can get useful tips and tap anti-smoking materials on the CDC website. The site features an overview of frequently asked questions that can guide physicians, posters that can be used in waiting rooms and clinics, FAQs on tobacco quitlines, and anti-smoking videos that can be shown to patients.

"The stories used as part of this campaign can be difficult to watch, but each of them sheds light on the tragic reality of how tobacco use devastates lives.Our hope is that these messages resonate with Hoosier smokers and they make the decision to quit tobacco once and for all," said to Indiana State Health Commissioner William VanNess in support of the CDC program.

The office of the Surgeon General revealed that the United States had lowered tobacco use by as much as half since the 1960s. Statistics show that about 1,200 individuals die each day because of smoking. A report noted that 20 percent of the adult population continues to use tobacco products.

Doctors can help smokers in trying to quit smoking, but smokers need to understand that the stick is not that easy to give up and that quitting can be a very challenging process and they need all the help they can get.

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