Mayo Clinic’sNicotine Dependence Center (NDC) is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. As one of the first centers in the country to focus exclusively on treatments for tobacco dependence when it opened in 1988, the NDC has been at the forefront of the battle of nicotine addiction nationally as well as globally, offering the latest education and training programs, advancing research aimed at tobacco dependence interventions, and offering treatment approaches to tobacco users.
The founder and director of the NDC, Richard Hurt, M.D., says, “As I reflect on the past 25 years, the key to our success has been the dedicated and innovative staff. The patients we see are in need of hope and help, and our team delivers care in a compassionate and motivating way.” Dr Hurt says, while it's encouraging that the number of Americans who smoke has dropped to 18 percent that still means 45 million adults are lighting up. He says a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that 6 out of 10 current smokers, if they don't quit, will die of a tobacco-caused disease.
Journalists: Sound bites and smoking b-roll are available in the downloads.
///SOT Sound Bite - TOBACCO A DEADLY PRODUCT (Dr. Richard Hurt/Director, Mayo Clinic NDC) “One of the questions we’re asking more recently is, why do we as a society tolerate a product that kills almost half a million Americans every single year? (TRT :09) That’s the equivalent of three fully loaded 747s crashing every day, 365 days a year, with no survivors.” [TRT :17]
For that reason, Dr. Hurt praises public smoking bans and higher taxes on cigarettes. He says numerous studies have clearly shown they've had a powerful impact in at least three significant ways.
///SOT Sound Bite - HIGHER TAXES & SMOKING BANS (Dr. Richard Hurt/Director, Mayo Clinic NDC) "They reduce smoking and people who continue to smoke average three cigarettes a day less. They increase the chances of a smoker stopping smoking. And they decrease the chances of your child or grandchild ever starting." [TRT :13]
Dr. Hurt's own research in Mayo Clinic's home county in Minnesota documented another positive effect of smoking bans. He says they'll help reduce the estimated 50,000 non-smoker deaths caused each year by secondhand smoke, many from heart attacks.
///SOT Sound Bite - SECONDHAND SMOKE IMPACT (Dr. Richard Hurt/Director, Mayo Clinic NDC)
“And what we found in Olmsted county in a project we did, that was published last year, we found that the rate of heart attacks went down 33 percent after Olmsted County became smoke free in the workplaces. Nothing else you could do would do that.” TRT :14
Among the noteworthy accomplishments of the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center:
More than 50,000 patients from 64 countries have been helped by the programs.