The Ongoing Battle Against Tobacco

Samantha Reposa

The United States General Surgeon, Dr. Vivek Murthy, made an appearance Thursday morning at Gateway Community College in New Haven to discuss the progress of the city’s smoke free initiative.

The United States General Surgeon, Dr. Vivek Murthy (Photo by Samantha Reposa/Charger Bulletin photo)
The United States General Surgeon, Dr. Vivek Murthy (Photo by Samantha Reposa/Charger Bulletin photo

Dr. Murthy referred to the use of tobacco products as a disease. He talked about how his father, a doctor, used to smoke despite his knowledge of the harmful effects. According to Dr. Murthy, the biggest challenges smokers are faced with when trying to quit are the mindsets that their health is out of their control and the belief that the “battle against tobacco has been won.” Steps toward prevention are key to the success of eliminating the tobacco use. Research has been conducted to see what attracts people to smoking, and why people who live in a more vulnerable atmosphere are more likely to start smoking. The research will help produce ways to prevent and treat the use of tobacco before the habit has already formed. Dr. Murthy applauded New Haven for their effective efforts on combatting tobacco through the city’s construction of a three-part plan to help eradicate the use of tobacco products throughout the city. Interventions have been held to help aid adults who are in the process of quitting and those thinking quitting. City health officials have been targeting the youth and educating them on the harmful effects of tobacco use. Lastly, the city passed an anti-tobacco law in May that prohibits the use of any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes, in all city parks or on city-owned property. The University of New Haven became one of the 1,500 schools to go smoke free in June. UNH is also one of the 25 percent of the smoke free campuses to go completely tobacco free. If American continues to take the steps in the positive direction in attempt to eliminate the use of tobacco then we will reach “the America we deserve, a tobacco free America,” Dr. Murthy ended.