Letter: 50 years since report, tobacco use still too high

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the surgeon general’s warning on tobacco use. Since that time, people have become more educated on the negative health consequences of cigarettes and other tobacco products, including their indisputable link to cancer. In the medical community, we see the devastating effects of tobacco on lives and families, and stand with those who share our mission of eliminating its negative health influence.

Mary Bird Perkins’ Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center’s Lung Multidisciplinary Care Team applauds CVS Caremark’s recent decision to discontinue selling tobacco products. While we understand nicotine addiction is incredibly powerful and some people will continue to consume tobacco products, CVS action reinforces what anti-tobacco groups have communicated for decades: tobacco is dangerous in any form.

Fortunately, there is help for those who want to quit. The Cancer Center offers a free, proven program to help break the habit called Geaux Free. This program helps people prepare for quitting, manage withdrawal symptoms, identify triggers that create urges, learn new behaviors and skills to help them remain tobacco-free, and develop a support network. For information on Geaux Free, please call (225) 215-1274.

I urge everyone to become educated on the dangers of tobacco use, especially teens and young adults who can still avoid the disastrous downstream effects of tobacco use by either quitting or not starting. Together, as a community, we can shine a light on the ugly health impact of tobacco use and shape healthier and more beautiful lives for future generations.

Dr. Brad Vincent

chairman, Mary Bird Perkins/Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center Lung Cancer Multidisciplinary Care Team

Baton Rouge