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Interview with Dr. Al Zoda about Tobacco use and Head and Neck Cancers

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Medical Minute - 2:30

Steve Williams: The 3WZ Medical Minute is brought to you by Mount Nittany Health. We’re with Dr. Al Zoda from Mount Nittany Health. Dr. Zoda, thanks for being with us today.

Dr. Zoda: Thank you, Steve.

Steve Williams: Dr. Zoda, Mount Nittany Health’s becoming tobacco free. Can you explain how this will affect the community?

Dr. Zoda: Yes, Steve. Beginning September 4, Mount Nittany Health, at all of its locations, will become tobacco free. Everyone, including visitors, employees, physicians and nurses, will no longer be able to use tobacco products on the premises. As we all know, Mount Nittany Health is the health leader in Centre County, committed to improving the health of our community. This initiative provides a healthy environment for the community.

Steve Williams: How do tobacco products adversely affect your health?

Dr. Zoda: Smoking and the use of smokeless tobacco increase risk of heart disease and multiple forms of cancer. This includes cancer of the lung, stomach, esophagus, mouth, lips and throat.

Steve Williams: Does secondhand smoke have a harmful effect on those around you?

Dr. Zoda: Smoking not only affects the person smoking, but all who are exposed to the secondhand smoke. In tobacco, there are over 7,000 different chemicals. In secondhand smoke, there are up to 250 different chemicals. Many of these have been found to cause cancer, including lung cancer. Long-term exposure to secondhand smoke also increases the risk of heart disease.

Steve Williams: Do you have any tips that are going to help listeners quit using tobacco products?

Dr. Zoda: As we well know, quitting smoking and using tobacco products is not an easy endeavor. But it can be done. Several steps that a person could follow in attempting to discontinue the use of tobacco products would be – number one: Set a personal goal as to how and when you will be smoke free. Number two: Find someone to quit with or a friend who will support your efforts. Number three: Surround yourself with friends who do not smoke. It will be much easier to stop smoking if you’re not around other individuals who are smoking. Number four: Keep healthy, oral substitutes on hand such as sunflower seeds or sugar-free gum or even a lollipop. When you feel the urge to smoke, pop one of these in your mouth instead. And finally, speak to your primary care physician if you need help in quitting smoking.

Steve Williams: Dr. Zoda, where can community members go to get more information on the importance of being tobacco free?

Dr. Zoda: Listeners can visit mountnittany.org for more information. The American Heart Association and American Cancer Society websites also have very helpful tips on discontinuing the use of tobacco products.

Steve Williams: Dr. Al Zoda from Mount Nittany Health, thanks for being our guest today.

Dr. Zoda: You’re very welcome. Thank you for having me.

Steve Williams: The 3WZ Medical Minute is brought to you by Mount Nittany Health.


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