Philadelphia Medicine Winter 2017-18x - 5
p h i l a m e d s o c .o rg
Although tobacco use is declining in the United States,
Philadelphia lags far behind other cities in getting smokers
to quit. Unfortunately, our city has the dubious distinction
of being first among the top 10 cities, in the percentage of
smokers it has in its population. Akash Desai, Urban Health
Policy Fellow at the Philadelphia Department of Public
Health, reports that one reason for the problem is aggressive
marketing of menthol and other flavored tobaccos in our
Flavored e-cigarettes and menthol cigarettes have been
shown to be highly addictive. More than 80 percent of
children who have tried tobacco start with a flavored tobacco
product. Chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavorings are
designed to tempt and attract our children, exposing them
to a potential lifetime of nicotine dependency. Menthol
cigarettes minimize the harshness of smoking while increasing
the likelihood of addiction. Desai's article points out what is
being done to try to combat the sale of menthol cigarettes.
Michael Vitez says he's a great believer in the power of
stories. The Pulitzer Prize winning author is encouraging
medical students, residents and attending physicians at the
Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, to use
storytelling to help heal themselves from the emotional fallout
caused by their work with very sick and dying patients.
Dr. Nicholas Nowotarski's interview of Vitez makes
it very clear why Temple believes in the power of "narrative
There's much more in this issue of Philadelphia Medicine.
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Cadence Kim, MD, FACS,
President, Philadelphia County Medical Society
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Winter 2018 : Philadelphia Medicine