Broad Support for Stubbing Out Tobacco Use

ATS members strongly support the Society’s efforts to advocate against tobacco use and educate the public on the dangers of tobacco.

That’s the result of a completely unscientific poll conducted outside Hall G and the ATS smoking information poster. Most respondents, but not all, said they were aware that tobacco manufacturers are required to publish statements admitting their complicity in hiding the truth about the deleterious health effects of tobacco.

Not all were aware of the role ATS played in bringing tobacco producers to account. But all were supportive of the advocacy and educational positions the ATS has taken.


“I think it’s having a big impact. Anything ATS can do with the resources they have would be beneficial to everybody, not just in pulmonary medicine but in general medicine, cardiology, oncology, everything else that tobacco use impacts.”

Robert Burkes, MD

Chapel Hill, North Carolina


“Advocacy and public education is our responsibility. I don’t care if we are talking about cigarette smoking, asthma, allergy, and pulmonary problems that we have. We need education. The role of ATS has always been wonderful to educate our public as well as the docs.”

Joann Blessing-Moore, MD

Woodside, California


“Absolutely. I think it’s obvious that there have been a lot of myths perpetuated by the smoking industry for many decades. ATS is the leader in thoracic medicine; they should be taking the lead in advocacy and education.”

Gabriel Lockhart, MD

St. Louis, Missouri


“Tobacco advocacy is not limited to the United States or to the ATS. Lebanon, despite decades of turmoil in the region, has mustered the resources and the political will to take on the tobacco industry. For the last 10 years, there was a push by the Ministry of Health to advocate education on smoking cessation. They put laws in place and tried to enforce them, where you can’t smoke in restaurants, which was a completely new concept. In Lebanon, we have the hookah, and that became prevalent among youngsters 16 and younger. The government put in laws to crack down on that, so kids are not allowed to smoke, and hookah is not allowed to be smoked in closed environments. You have to be in the open air. They have done a lot of ad campaigns on TV about the impact on health of smoking hookah and smoking cigarettes. NGOs and the Ministry of Health have been very, very active in educating people and advocacy against smoking.”

Mustapha El-Amine, MD

Formerly Lebanon, now Washington, DC