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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

Putting Herghelia Charter to Work: “Quit Smoking, Win Health, Change Romania” 2005 Campaign for Health Professionals

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

Objective: 2000 smoking prevalence in Romanian physicians was 43.2%, with specialists' group championed by pulmonologists (sic!). In 2003 general population aged 15 - 64 smoked no more than 35%. Observing the law that prohibits smoking in health units is still poor requiring paradigm changes with cessation strategies for health professionals (HP).

Methods: WHO EURO & KTL Helsinki -coordinated Quit&Win (Q&W) 2002 addressed separately HP and included a Romania-initiated CEE conference to promote The Herghelia Charter (HC) for Tobacco Free HP in Europe. HC linked smoking to low income and eco-social instability elicited by injustice, distrust and corruption - endemic alibis to professional conscience, and forwarded modulation by smoking status of: practitioners' salary "points" for health promotion, mal-praxis premiums and some medical education costs, and devised special, “doctor-to-doctor” Q&Ws. Accordingly, peer-conducted “Quit smoking, Win health, Change Romania” (RCS 2005) called upon hospital & clinic HP to quit over 30 days ad libitum from May 31 to October 1st to qualify for prizes of professional meaning.

Results: Of 383 HP enrolled (mainly medical assistants and nurses), 63 (about 17 %) were tobacco-free by November 17 - Romania's No-smoking Day. When technical guidance and moral support was continously given success rate amounted 60 % contrasting places where “fill-in then manage yourself” didn't work at all. Thus RCS recommended "horizontally” influencing HP versus “vertical presssion” of regulations. Carefully combining positive, community-like approches like Q&W with more aggressive policies adding to ethical discourse selection & promotion incentives, and law enforcement could better work in CEE HP' smoking cessation.

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