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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

Smoking and Dis-Smoking in Health Professionals of Central-Eastern European Countries

Radu M. Negoescu, PhD, MPH, Healthy Lifestyle Department, Institute of Public Health in Bucharest, Dr Leonte 1-3, Bucharest, Romania

Objective: Reducing smoking in health professionals (HP) of Central-Eastern Europe countries (CEEC), the most having now accessed the European Union (EU), is a must since CEEC physicians smoked in 2000 as much as % 32.214.0 SD (n=12), significantly more (p<.05) than % 19.810.4 SD (n=13) in the EU. Romanian physicians smoked 43.2 % (50.17 % men; 38.6 % women).

Methods: WHO EURO & KTL Helsinki -coordinated Quit&Win (Q&W) cessation campaigns (20% tobacco-free at 1 year) first addressed HP as a separate group in 2002. A Romania-initiated regional conference (Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia & Romania, Moldova as observer and Finland as an EU reference) promoted The Herghelia Charter for Tobacco Free HP in Europe, and kept going CEEC' interaction on "How To" dis-smoke their HP.

Results: All but two EU accessing CEEC (11) took the 2002 challenge scoring averagedly 10 % HP out of total enrollment, with Hungary (989) and Bulgaria (867) over the mean, and Turkey with 9096 entries in a campaign well orchestrated, fully media-covered and supported at highest levels. Thus separate & special targeting HP as entry forms, distribution networks and national prizes has greatly got over the "natural" HP enrollment of 1 % scored in previous Q&Ws. This rate maintained with Q&W for HP in 2004. While removing "endemic alibis for professional consciousness brought about by poverty, injustice, distrust and corruption" (Herghelia Charter) may play on longer term, more aggressive cessation policies combining selection & promotion incentives (and even Q&W games) with law enforcement may help on the spot.

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