New Anti-Smoking Ads Tell Doctors Their Patients Are ‘All Ears’

March 2, 2009

ALBANY, N.Y., March 2 /PRNewswire/ — The New York State Department of
Health today released a new round of ads urging healthcare providers to make
quitting a priority with their patients who smoke. “Your Patients Are
Listening” features images of patients with oversized ears to dramatize
smokers’ receptiveness to cessation assistance from their doctor.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090302/AQM043)

State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., said, “We want to
challenge clinicians across the state to take time at every office visit to
talk to their patients who smoke.” Data show that when healthcare providers
talk to their patients about smoking and offer assistance with quitting, long-
term success can be dramatically increased.

“Studies show that many clinicians think they will alienate smokers by
addressing the issue, but we have found that smokers expect doctors to ask
them about smoking and are actually more satisfied with their care when
offered assistance to quit,” added Commissioner Daines.

“Your Patients Are Listening” is the second phase of the award-winning
“Don’t Be Silent About Smoking” campaign launched last year by the State
Health Department’s Tobacco Control Program and its 19 Cessation Centers
across the state. The campaign reached nearly 4 in 10 physicians in New York

“Among doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants who saw the
campaign, 80 percent said the ads grabbed their attention and 65 percent
reported the ads made them think about doing more to help their patients stop
using tobacco,” said Jeff Willett, Director of the state Tobacco Control
Program. “Clinicians who saw the campaign were significantly more likely to
ask their patients about smoking, advise them to quit, and provide medication
to assist them. We expect the new ads to have an even greater impact on
providers’ behavior.”

The ads for the $1.2 million campaign will run today in medical journals,
major daily newspapers, and other publications in New York, as well as on
medical websites. The campaign’s website, http://www.TalkToYourPatients.org,
offers easy-to-access information and resources to help healthcare providers
assist their patients who smoke.

Campaign materials will be distributed by the state’s 19 Tobacco Cessation
Centers, whose staff provides free assistance, training and consultation to
clinicians and healthcare organizations to improve the delivery of tobacco
cessation services.

Tobacco addiction is the leading preventable cause of death in New York.
Approximately 25,500 New Yorkers die every year from smoking. While most anti-
smoking efforts target smokers, this campaign speaks directly to doctors,
nurse practitioners, nurses, and physician assistants.

Two-thirds of smokers in New York State have visited a health care
provider in the past year. “This presents a tremendous opportunity for doctors
to intervene and give patients the help they need to quit successfully,” Dr.
Daines said.

In 2007, 60 percent of New York’s 2.6 million smokers attempted to quit.
Most smokers try to quit without effective treatment and, as a result, the
majority will relapse to smoking. Evidence suggests that helping patients to
overcome chronic tobacco dependence is one of the most cost-effective
interventions clinicians can provide to improve their patients’ health.

In 2008, the “Don’t Be Silent About Smoking” campaign won the E-Healthcare
Solutions award for Best Public Service Campaign as well as an American
Graphic Design Award.

For additional information about quitting smoking, please visit the state
Health Department website at http://www.nyhealth.gov or call the toll-free NYS
Smokers’ Quitline at 1-866-697-8487.

Claire Pospisil: Name (518) 474-7354

                      Fax (518) 473-7071
                      E-mail: ctp02@health.state.ny.us

SOURCE New York State Department of Health

Source: newswire

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