Doctors must Stub out smoking
- By: Mirza Muminovic
Health professionals should stop smoking, according to a new code of conduct on tobacco control agreed by healthcare professional associations at a World Health Organization meeting in Geneva.
The code asks health professionals to act as role models for their patients, by giving up cigarettes and by ensuring their workplaces and public facilities are free of smoke and tobacco. The code also gives ways to stop using tobacco. In many countries, smoking prevalence among health professionals is the same if not higher than the average in the population.
Participants included professional associations from almost all countries representing doctors, pharmacists, dentists, and nurses. During the discussions, they vowed to increase and strengthen tobacco surveillance and cessation programmes, ensure access to tobacco free healthcare facilities, and implement education and community advocacy programmes. Studies have shown that even brief counseling by health professionals on the dangers of smoking and importance of quitting is