The Norfolk South District Medical Society 19th Annual Anti-Tobacco Program: “Smoking – Don’t Go There”

Physician members of the Massachusetts Medical Society and the Norfolk South District Medical Society are once again volunteering their time to help spread the word on the dangers of tobacco use and cigarette smoking by talking to adolescents in communities throughout the South Shore.

This year marks the 19th annual presentation of the Norfolk South District Medical Society’s anti-smoking program “Smoking – Don’t Go There.”

This public service effort is held in conjunction with the Great American Smokeout, scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 16.  The program, approximately 45 minutes, includes a question-and-answer session and visual tools like “tar in the jar” and pig lungs that depict a healthy lung compared to a smoker’s lung.

The effort is led by Dr. Mary Delaney, longtime volunteer in the program and a member of the Norfolk South District Medical Society. Dr. Delaney is an internist and endocrinologist with Harbor Medical Associates in South Weymouth, a primary care and specialty services medical practice serving the South Shore.

Dr. Delaney has participated in the program since its inception.

banner image for GASO 2017 that says "When Trying to Quit Smoking, Support Can Make All the Difference. #GASO"

Schools participating again this year include the Abigail Adams Intermediate School in Weymouth, Hull Middle School, Broad Meadow School and Sterling Middle School in Quincy.  Schools new to the program this year include St. Francis Xavier School and South Shore Christian Academy in Weymouth.

Medical Society officials state such prevention programs have become increasingly important as the state has drastically cut back on tobacco control and education programs and as tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and illness in Massachusetts and the nation.

Statistics released by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids call attention to the declining funding levels for anti-tobacco efforts across the nation and in Massachusetts, despite the 1998 landmark settlement of $246 billion with tobacco companies.

Each day, about 3,500 kids in the United States try their first cigarette, and each day 1,000 other kids under 18 become daily smokers. Ninety percent of all adult smokers begin while in their teens or earlier, and two thirds become daily smokers by the time they are 19.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, youngsters who smoke are three times more likely than nonsmokers to use alcohol, eight times more likely to use marijuana, and 22 times more likely to use cocaine. Smoking is also associated with numerous other high-risk behaviors, including fighting, engaging in unprotected sex, and carrying weapons.

The Norfolk South District Medical Society, with nearly 400 local physician members throughout southern and southeastern Massachusetts, is one of 20 local district medical societies throughout the Bay State that comprise the Massachusetts Medical Society.

 

 

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