Those of you who have been wondering why the articles this month have been related to smoking topics, I feel I owe you an explanation. Of course, no one should deny that helping patients to stop smoking and providing information to help support them in their efforts is a good thing. However, from a reader’s perspective having a variety of articles is best.

Some of you may not know that my Foundation, The Lung Disease Foundation of Central Pennsylvania, has a relationship with the American Lung Association. For the last several years, the Foundation has received an American Lung Association grant and has been designated by them as the Tobacco Control ervice Provider for Blair and Bedford Counties to provide tobacco prevention, education and cessation resources. These programs involve smoking cessation classes open to the public and, prior to the pandemic, providing funds for many local events including providing funds for other small groups to provide tobacco and vaping cessation programs. The Foundation even helped provide funds for the Altoona and Hollidaysburg school districts to obtain and install vape detectors in the schools.

My promise to the American Lung Association was to devote the June articles to the cause of smoking and vaping cessation. Tobacco and vaping related diseases, both acute and chronic, continue to plague us locally, as well as nationally. Addiction to nicotine, whether it be from tobacco products or the latest delivery system, the e-cigarette, is the cause of countless amounts of suffering and disease and is certainly worth a few articles