Dr. Veronica Palmero-Gonzalez, Pulmonologist with South Miami Hospital, explains smokers lungs are the damage or the end of years of smoking exposure to the normal lungs. The coloration is abnormal, because the lungs should be pink. "The more people smoke, the more damage will generate in the lungs." Tar (tobacco residue) is a chemical in the cigarette that damages the lungs, and it is hard to get rid of, but if your quit smoking, eventually the body will naturally eliminate it, according to Palmero-Gonzalez.
Dr. Veronica Palmero-Gonzalez, Pulmonologist with South Miami Hospital, explains nicotine is highly addictive. "If patients are already smoking, they have a hard time quitting. There's also a lot of pressure and advertisement in society that make people start smoking, which is one of the goals that we try, as physicians, to prevent." Women's risk of dying from smoking has more than tripled, and now is equal to men's risk. She also says there is no difference between smoking in men and women, and points out lung cancer is the number one killer in both men and women.
According to Dr. Veronica Palmero-Gonzalez, Pulmonologist with South Miami Hospital, secondhand smoke has potential risk for health, including development of lung cancer, COPD and chronic bronchitis. "In children it is particularly important, because they may develop asthma, ear infections, and respiratory infection." She also recommends creating more free smoking spaces, to prevent problems from secondhand smoke and protect more the secondhand smokers.
The 5 A's of Smoking Cessation are asking, advising, assessing, assisting, and arranging. "Number one is asking the patient whether the patient smokes or it has smoked in the past and getting details will be important", explains Dr. Veronica Palmero-Gonzalez, Pulmonologist with South Miami Hospital. The following is advising the patient to quit smoking as soon as possible, and then it is important to assess the patient's readiness to quit. "The number 4 will be assisting the patient in quitting smoking, offering some interventions for both behavioral or medications where the patient is most likely to be successful to quit, and lastly arranging follow-up mostly the first week after patient's quitting date."
Dr. Veronica Palmero-Gonzalez, Pulmonologist with South Miami Hospital, explains having a plan is very important to be successful in quitting smoking. She also says FDA recommended quitting smoking is behavioral measurements, and pharmacology nicotine patch has proven to be very successful in quitting smoking. "What they do is a slowly release of small amounts of nicotine. So the craving and we draw is easier to drive through," she points out and highlights you can also have some other methods of nicotine replacement, like nicotine gum, nicotine inhalers, and nicotine lozenges.