November 2006 MedBytes: Smoking Cessation

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 This month's Texas Medicine Public Health section reports on smoking cessation programs and how Texas benefits from curbing the number of smokers. The Web sites listed here can provide you with additional information and resources for helping Texans kick this life-threatening habit.

Texas Medical Association
TMA's Tobacco Resource Center  features prevention and cessation recommendations and guidelines, spit tobacco facts, information on youth and secondhand smoke exposure, and pregnancy and smoking data. For an extensive list of brochures, booklets, videos, posters, and guidebooks dealing with tobacco use and prevention, visit Tobacco Use: Prevention/Cessation , prepared by the TMA Physician Oncology Education Program.

American Cancer Society
Located at  www.cancer.org/docroot/home/index.asp , the American Cancer Society's Web site offers a wide variety of information about smoking cessation in its "Guide to Quitting Smoking" and "Tobacco and Cancer" sections. In addition to pages about smoke-free communities, the site also features a section for health professionals to help patients succeed at cessation. There are resources and expert tips for discussing quitting. After all, smokers are more likely to quit if a health care professional advises them to do so. Physicians can also find out more about the Great American Smokeout.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Smokers cite a doctor's advice to quit as an important motivator for attempting to stop smoking, says the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality on its Web site at  www.ahrq.gov/path/tobacco.htm . It offers links to materials for smokers to help them quit for good and for physicians to help their patients stop smoking.

American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is challenging states to go smoke free by 2010. Toward its mission to prevent lung disease and promote lung health, the American Lung Association offers statistical information, fact sheets on smoking cessation resources and nicotine replacement therapy, a quit smoking action plan, and "Freedom From Smoking Online," a free online smoking cessation program. Visit the American Lung Association's tobacco prevention resources at  http://www.lungusa.org/associations/charters/midland-states/learning-opportunities/facilitator-trainings/freedom-from-smoking/.

Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)
The mission of DSHS Tobacco Prevention and Control is to reduce the health effects and economic toll tobacco has placed on the citizens of Texas. A list of free tobacco videos for loan and information on tobacco prevention ordinances and laws can be found online at www.dshs.state.tx.us/tobacco/default.shtm . In addition, the site links to teen-oriented smoking cessation sites and provides an opportunity for individuals to request information on tobacco-related topics.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
"TIPS for kids, for teens, for adults . . . for everyone" can be found in English and Spanish on the CDC's Tobacco Information and Prevention Source Web site ( www.cdc.gov/tobacco ). In addition, the Web site informs its visitors about the surgeon general's reports on tobacco; tobacco research; available materials for parents, educators, professionals, and youth leaders; tobacco-free sports initiatives; celebrity views on smoking; an online toolkit to take action against secondhand smoke; and a question inventory on tobacco.

MedBytes is a quick look at new, or newly discovered, Web sites of interest to Texas physicians. The column also highlights features of the TMA Web site at www.texmed.org. If you know of some interesting medical sites or have questions about how to use the TMA Web site, email  Erin Prather. Publication of information about Web sites in this column is not to be considered an endorsement or approval by the Texas Medical Association of the sites or sponsors, or of any products or services involved.   

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