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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM

Is It Ethical to Be a Doctor and Smoker...or Why Doctors Must Get Involved in Tobacco Control?

Michel N. Daher, MD, FACS, Surgery- Saint George Hospital, Associate Professor of Surgery- University of Balamand, Achrafieh, Beirut, Lebanon

Objective: Doctors have a unique ability to help smokers to stop smoking

Methods: Concerning tobacco, for any doctor it is evident that: - Tobacco is the major health problem in our country and worldwide. - A lot of a doctor's time can be taken up dealing with patients who are suffering from smoking-induced disease or from exposure to other people's tobacco smoke (ETS). Getting involved in tobacco control, as an individual doctor or as part of an anti-smoking association, offers an unparalleled opportunity to address the big public health issue of our time.

Results: Doctors have a unique ability to help smokers to stop smoking Many smokers want to stop smoking, and others may be receptive to encouragement to stop A brief intervention by a doctor has been shown to increase the chances that a smoker will successfully stop smoking Nicotine replacement therapy can increase the success rate of more dependent smokers; Doctors are regarded as the most reliable source of advice and information on health issues, and are exemplars to the rest of the community. Any smoking at all among doctors may strike a cynical outsider as evidence of hypocrisy when doctors seek to encourage the general public to quit. That's why we can ask: Is it still ethical to be a doctor and a smoker?

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