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Interview with Dr. James Gerardo about Adverse Effects of Tobacco

Click here to listen to MP3 file of the interview

Dave Kurten: The 3WZ Medical Minute is brought to you by Mount Nittany Health System. Our topic this week: becoming tobacco free. Our guest: Dr. James Gerardo. Thanks for joining us today.

Dr. Gerardo: Thank you.

Dave Kurten: How do tobacco products adversely affect your health?

Dr. Gerardo: Well, there are a large number of effects at a cellular level that ultimately just leads to inflammation and can cause a number of problems with blockages in the arteries of the heart, as well as arteries to the brain and the rest of the body. Additionally, chemicals in tobacco smoke can cause cancer in the oral tract if you chew it or smoke it into the lungs.

Dave Kurten: Does secondhand smoke contain harmful effects to those around you?

Dr. Gerardo: In fact, it does. I think there’s something like 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, and of those, about 70 of them are known to cause cancer. Therefore, anybody exposed to that can develop either cardiovascular problems or lung cancer problems as well.

Dave Kurten: Do you have any tips that will help listeners quit using tobacco products?

Dr. Gerardo: Yes. First of all, the most important thing is to decide that you truly want to stop using tobacco products. And then, there are a number of additional things you can do besides pharmacologically. That would include trying to surround yourself with people who are not smoking – maybe try to quit with a friend. Once you’ve decided that you definitely want to quit, set a goal. For example, you might say ‘on such and such a date, I’m going to stop smoking.’ And then, if you need some additional help, you can talk to your primary care physician, who can help you with other ways to figure out how to stop.

Dave Kurten: Where can community members get more information on the importance of being tobacco free?

Dr. Gerardo: Obviously, the Internet is a good choice, and I would start by going to mountnittany.org and looking further through the website there.

Dave Kurten: Dr. James Gerardo has been our guest on this edition of the 3WZ Medical Minute brought to you by Mount Nittany Health System. Mount Nittany – Life Forward.


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