World No Tobacco Day 2005 - Introduction
The Tobacco Free Initiative proposes that World No Tobacco Day 2005 focus on the role of health professionals on tobacco control.
Health Professionals are in an excellent position that allows them to have a prominent role on tobacco control.
Comprehensive tobacco programmes aimed at controlling the use of tobacco efficiently should consider a mix of measures including legislation and pricing measures, but also prevention -through education, communication, informational campaigns that raise awareness of the effects of tobacco on health- and other demand reduction measures concerning tobacco dependence and cessation. Health Professionals can intervene in these ambits. They reach a high percentage of the population. Health Professionals have the opportunity to help people change their behaviour and they can give advice, guidance and answers to questions related to the consequences of tobacco use, they can help patients to stop smoking. Studies have shown that even brief counseling by Health Professionals on the dangers of smoking and the importance of quitting is one of the most cost-effective methods of reducing smoking.
Health Professionals can also be very instrumental with preventive measures, especially when considering the youth. They have the opportunity to promote social norm change, and forewarn children and adolescents of the dangers of tobacco.
We would like health professionals to help us strengthen the position they have on tobacco control, and we would like to tell their patients and everyone else that their doctor, nurse, physician, dentist, pharmacist, etc. have the answers to their questions about tobacco.