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The Domino Effect: Exposing COPD and Tobacco Risks

6 de março de 2011

The Domino Effect: Exposing COPD and Tobacco Risks

The Domino Effect: Exposing COPD & Tobacco Risks

Marcos Nascimento,MD

The term “domino effect” has been used since the 1950s to describe the potential for political unrest to become contagious, resulting in a chain reaction. The phrase took on special significance during the Vietnam Era, when it was used to propagate the idea that a communist victory in Vietnam might embolden other communists in the region, prompting them to topple their own governments.
Today, we see the same phrase taking on special significance in the Public Health when The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) released a report last week, “Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2008,” confirming that Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) became the third leading cause of death in the U.S. for 2008.[ it was the 4th death cause].
With this data above, we are confirming 9 years in advance, the WHO’s prediction that it would happen only in 2020!
In a large field of dominoes, a number of domino paths can topple at the same time, and careful placement of the dominos can set off an entirely new chain reaction elsewhere.
So, the Governments and WHO need careful placement of the dominos in:
1) To popularize the Spirometry! A test to make the COPD diagnosis and stop its worsening course- This simple measure would permit treat the majority of COPD patients who does not have the disgnosis.
2) Point to the need for additional resources to target COPD research and interventions;
3)Approach to smoking Control and therapy for smoking cessation that involves the systematic smokers in well-structured programs in health services, with the use of cognitive-behavioral and pharmacological support with multidisciplinary team.
4)Smoking is responsible for causing 50 other diseases besides COPD. The women Lung cancer curve continues high inclined. So, another carefull atention to these domino piece must be urgent because this presents a spillover risk from one domino to another through a so-called trigger provoked by the marketing strategy of tobacco industry.
5) The UN and WHO need to convince some countries as USA and Argentina not only sign but comply with the determinations of the Tobacco Framework Convention Treaty,for the welfare of their own populations and also for the respect with public money.

By putting these pieces of security, we will have the hope and the chance to preserve the pulmonary atmosphere for the today children and for the tomorrow’s citizens.

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Sources:

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)  Report: “Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2008;

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