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Americans Fight To Stop Smoking

By Expert Author: Bernard Fowler

Companies in the public and private sector are picking up the slack, making it easier for workers to access quit smoking programs and harder for them to smoke. Hilary Tindle, a physician and director of the Tobacco Treatment Service at UPMC Presbyterian and Montefiore hospitals said that at UPMC, a new Tobacco-Free Workday Policy will be introduced in summer 2014 that will permit workers to smoke on their own time, not during their breaks. They want their workers to be tobacco free for the duration of their shift.

Dr. Tindle manages quit smoking and treatment programs for workers at the health care provider's hospitals and clinics, and also wrote a chapter on "Treatment of Tobacco Use" in the 50th Anniversary Surgeon General's Report, to be released January 18.

"If I walk from my research office, which is two blocks from Montefiore, I have to walk through clouds of smoke, so it really does seem like many people are still lighting up," she said, adding that hospital patients have been known to wheel their IV poles out of the building to smoke.

Even though smoking levels got decreased by more than half because of successful education, legislative and quit smoking efforts, lung cancer remains the Number One cancer provocateur, said Robert Keenan, a physician and chief of the department of thoracic surgery at Allegheny General Hospital.

Lung cancer rates among male smokers have dropped, reflecting the decrease in smoking among males beginning in the 1960s, lung cancer rates among females are rising slightly. Many progress has been developed to treat lung cancers, Dr. Keenan said, but since it frequently takes several decades for smoking's effects to appear as cancer, women's rates will not drop for some time. These days everyone could stop smoking.

Recent research found that many people lie about their smoking habits. More needs to be done, said Dr. Tindle, adding how aggressively tobacco is marketed to residents of low-income neighborhoods and youth. There is intensive advertising in magazines and social media, with candy-flavored tobacco products.

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