On 9/11/01 the members of the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) provided us all with role models of bravery, sacrifice and hard work. The impact of that day has affected their lives in many ways. Respiratory problems are a health problem that always affects firefighters because of the constant danger of smoke inhalation and exposure. Since 9/11 these problems became more persistent with an increase in smoking among firefighters and rescue workers. Since last September, 29% of smokers in the FDNY have been smoking more and 23% of ex-smokers have started smoking again. Last month the FDNY in concert with the American College of Chest Physicians and makers of smoking cessation products launched a new smoking cessation program for firefighters, EMS rescue workers and their spouses. This comprehensive program includes:
Ø Medical evaluations from smoking cessation experts.
Ø Availability of nicotine replacement products.
Ø Behavioral support and counseling through a new interactive personalized computer and e-mail based program.
Studies have shown that behavioral counseling combined with drug therapy can result in a quit rate of close to 30%. "One of the most important things a firefighter can do to protect his or her respiratory health is to quit smoking," said David J. Prezant, FDNY's deputy medical officer. Diane Stover, MD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, said, "We applaud the New York City firefighters for taking a leadership role in smoking cessation, and hope that this will encourage the 50 million smokers in the US to quit smoking."
Source: The CHEST Foundation, American College of Chest Physicians, 8/13/02
Do You Want to Quit Smoking?
Call the California Smokers Helpline at 1-800-NO-BUTTS