Chenango gets behind anti-smoking effort

By Katherine Waters

Sun Staff Intern

The “One million fewer smokers by 2010” program, administered through New York Tobacco Use Prevention and Control, may be a plausible goal, says Norwich physician Dr. Karen Banks-Lindner. Tobacco Free Chenango, a program of Chenango Health Network, has increased its efforts to help smokers make it through the quitting process and help New York State reach its goal.

James Mutabiilwa, program coordinator for Tobacco Free Chenango, announced that Dr. Banks-Lindner has been named a champion of tobacco cessation due to her efforts to council her patients through the quitting process.

As a doctor of internal medicine, Dr. Banks understands the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. Her practice involves the cardio pulmonary, respiratory, and digestive systems of the body, which are all affected by tobacco abuse.

For the past three years, Dr. Banks has made an effort to pre-screen her patients for tobacco abuse. “Anyone who does smoke, I counsel them on why it is important for them to quit,” she said.

Long-term tobacco use increases the risk factors of cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, skin problems and dental issues. After initially counseling her patients, Dr. Banks refers them to the New York State Smokers’ Quitline.

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