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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
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.