Although signs like ‘No Smoking’ and ‘Smoking is injurious to health’ are omnipresent yet even today, 35-40 million American adults are active smokers. The sad irony of cigarette smoking is that every year American adults burn more than $300 billion on the end of their lighters and in return, are gifted with cardiovascular diseases, which is the leading cause of preventable death in the US.
The Million Hearts initiative launched by the US government is looking to save 1 million lives from heart and diseases and strokes by the year 2017. According to the Million Hearts, 70% of smokers in the US wish to quit but only a third of them receive the help they were looking for. This year in their annual e-update they have outlined numerous tools smokers can use to take action and quit smoking once and for all.
The newsletter highlighted various tools, protocols and actions which could be used to identify and treat patients who use tobacco; such as ‘evidence-based strategies for tobacco cessation’ for identifying and treating tobacco users. Similarly, the ‘clinical intervention protocol’ highlights the practice of quitting, while the ‘Smokefree.gov’s Practice Quit Program’ is a text message program which guides 60 plus aged smokers who want to have another go on life by saying not to smoking.
Meanwhile ‘The Population Health Management Software’ is a way to facilitate the primary health care system so that even small sized and independent practices can identify, manage and help groups that wish to quit smoking. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) along with the American Medical Association (AMA) has launched a special video and printable handouts for health workers for using the Nutrition Facts label to improve the overall health status among their patients. Likewise, the newsletter contains links to AMA’s infographic which shows blood pressure measurements which is aimed to help both doctors and patients for getting accurate results. The newsletter also provides update on all the activities of the Million Hearts initiative in their bid to eliminate smoking.