When I was eight years old I decide I wanted to be a doctor. I never changed my mind. I went to medical school when I was 17 and have been studying medicine ever since. I have worked in over 25 hospitals in five countries on four continents. Almost every penny (or cent) I have ever earned, spent or invested came from the practice of medicine.
My speciality is anesthesiology. I come to work every day with the aim of making things better for people, specifically by getting them through difficult and painful experiences like surgery and childbirth as safely and painlessly as possible.
I enjoy my work. It is a rare privilege to be able to earn good money by doing something you believe is good and right. But it is not all sweetness and light. There is a lot which happens in healthcare I am concerned about. Those issues will be the theme of this blog.
I am appalled by the six million unnecessary deaths caused, every year, by tobacco. I am dismayed that, more than sixty years after we learnt how lethal cigarettes can be, we are still allowing them to be manufactured and sold. This issue will be featured in a series of blog posts during Canada’s National No Smoking Week, January 17th – 24th, 2016.
Please sign my petition to increase the minimum legal smoking age in Canada to 21.
Stories I would like to read in 2017 PRESIDENT TRUMP MOVES ON TOBACCO President Trump tweeted: “Wall built. Muslims registered. Next job: tobacco.” Sources close to the Trump administration have explained that the Donald now wants to deal with the … Continue reading →
On March 1st, 2005 Dr. Tabare Vasquez assumed the position of President of Uruguay, a small, poor country in South America. He was previously an oncologist, a physician specializing in cancer treatment. At that time, Uruguay had one of the … Continue reading →
There is a need for a more radical response to the tobacco industry. We need an organization that is not afraid to take the issues directly to those involved, and which operates peacefully up to the limit of what the … Continue reading →
We do not know their real names, but if we did the list might look like this, based on the popularity of various brands of cigarettes and the diseases which commonly kill smokers: DEATHS FROM TOBACCO USE JANUARY 21st 2016 … Continue reading →
I am not an economist, an actuary or an accountant, but I do have a few ideas about the economics of the tobacco industry to share. When people talk about money and tobacco, the first thing they usually mention is tax … Continue reading →
One of the worst things that ever happened to women’s health was the “You’ve come a long way baby” advertising campaign for Virginia Slims, a new and thinner cigarette aimed at the female market. This advertising program linked smoking to the … Continue reading →
In many parts of the world, you can legally smoke once you turn 18. Starting to smoke can be a rite of passage, something that marks the difference between children and adults. 95% of smokers started smoking before the age … Continue reading →
In 2013, Canada’s 4.6 million smokers puffed their way through 31,468,896,967 cigarettes. 37,000 of them died as a result of smoking. In Ontario, 200 farmers grow 54 million pounds of tobacco. Three major tobacco companies have their headquarters in Canada, … Continue reading →
Globally, tobacco kills 6 million people a year, including 600,000 who die from second-hand smoke (WHO). Smoking kills more people than AIDS, Malaria, TB, War, Murder and Traffic accidents combined: If you compare tobacco with recent wars, major natural disasters, … Continue reading →
Why do I care about tobacco? I am an anesthesiologist. I work in the operating room, keeping patients safe and comfortable while surgeons operate. I know that tobacco causes cancer because I am there when the smoker has the cancer … Continue reading →