TO THE EDITOR: As chief nursing officer for Adirondack Health, I would like to stress the importance of the New York State Tobacco Control Program.
Smokers have been told “smoking is bad” and “smoking will kill you.” These may seem like overused and empty statements, but they are true.
Tobacco is the No. 1 preventable cause of chronic disease and death in the United States. More deaths are caused by tobacco use than HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor-vehicle injuries, suicides and murders combined. Smoking can raise your risk of heart attack or stroke by 200 to 400 percent.
If you are a man who smokes, you are 23 times more likely than a non-smoker to have lung cancer and 13 times more likely if you are a woman.
Nicotine is extremely addictive and keeps people smoking even when they want to stop. If you use tobacco, quitting is the most important thing you can do to improve your health. Within your first month of being smoke free, your risk of a heart attack drops, and your lung function begins to improve.
I am eager to learn new ways to help Adirondack Health patients quit using tobacco products and the Tobacco Control Program does just that, keeps health-care professionals up-to-date about new, effective strategies to help people stop smoking.
It funds the North Country Tobacco Cessation Center, Adirondack Tobacco Free Network and Reality Check, all working in our community to decrease smoking rates and second-hand exposure.
Talk to your doctor today about treatments and call the NYS Smokers Quitline (1-866-NYQUITS), which offers free coaching to smokers who want to quit and two weeks of free nicotine patches for eligible callers.
Chief nursing officer