Time for Great American Smokeout as AMA Calls for Vaping Ban

Nov 20, 2019

Thursday is the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout, designed to provide an opportunity for people who smoke to commit to healthy, smoke-free lives.

Research published in The Lancet found smoking can be attributed to 1 in every 10 deaths globally, which is equivalent to 6.4 million people every year.

Dr. Sudhir Mungee is an OSF HealthCare Cardiovascular Institute interventional cardiologist. He says it's a risk factor that is also completely preventable if the right steps are taken.

“A single risk factor has an impact on not only the vascular disease, but also pulmonary diseases. It's a no- brainer. Quitting smoking is probably the biggest favor one can do to your overall improved health status.”

While the U.S. smoking rate has dropped by about 2 percent every year for both men and women since 1990, about 14 percent of American adults are still regular smokers. That amounts to about 37 million smokers.

Dr. Mungee says patients often wait too long to quit, and seek help only after a major health event.

This day and age, where the information is so available and the help is already there, I think you need to have a preemptive strike. You need to quit on smoking before it strikes you. And I think that’s the key. I think patient education, empowerment of knowledge, those are very important factors.”

Dr. Mungee says like any addiction, smoking is a hard habit to kick, but the benefits of quitting can be felt immediately.

The American Medical Association is calling for an immediate ban on all electronic cigarettes and vaping devices.

The group adopted the sweeping stance Tuesday at a policy-making meeting in San Diego. It aims to lobby for laws, regulations or legal action to achieve a ban, but the industry is sure to fight back.

The AMA cited the surge in teen e-cigarette use. The group also said the recent outbreak of lung illnesses linked to vaping shows how little is known about the health consequences. Most of those sickened said they vaped THC, the high-inducing ingredient in marijuana, not nicotine.

The policy singles out e-cigarette and vaping products not approved to help people quit smoking. But none have been approved yet for that use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.