|Editor's note: The following announcement, along with the poster inserts, appeared originally in the Aug. 16 issue. However, as that issue was mailed to U.S.
A few years ago, when the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) appointed its Health for All Committee and charged it with coordinating international chiropractic public health projects with those of the World Health Organization (WHO), it was decided that the best strategy for the chiropractic profession was to choose just one of the WHO's various projects and concentrate our efforts on it. That one project is the Tobacco-Free Initiative, a cabinet-level top priority of the WHO, and we've named our campaign "Chiropractors Against Tobacco" or CAT.
Today, we proudly present one of the products of our committee's efforts. This issue of Dynamic Chiropractic includes a beautiful insert that can be separated into our two WFC CAT anti-tobacco posters. Thanks to Don Petersen Jr., for using DC's international issue for our distribution, these two posters are being put into the hands of every known doctor of chiropractic in the world - and at no cost to them - so that they can be displayed in every chiropractic office in the world! Earlier versions of these posters have been displayed at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and were very well-received. Imagine the impact when chiropractic patients throughout the world consciously as well as subliminally get the message that their chiropractors care about their health and about global public health as well, and that chiropractors are not just experts in spinal adjusting, but also in the lifestyle components of health.
Tobacco use, including cigarette smoking, is the second major cause of death and the single most preventable cause of death and disease in the world today. It is currently responsible for the death of one in 10 adults worldwide (about 5 million deaths each year). If current smoking patterns continue, it will cause some 10 million deaths each year by 2025. Half of the people who smoke today - approximately 650 million people - will eventually die from tobacco-related diseases. Tobacco is the fourth most common risk factor overall for disease worldwide. The economic costs of tobacco use are equally devastating. In addition to the high public health costs of treating tobacco-caused diseases, tobacco kills people at the height of their productivity, depriving families of breadwinners and nations of a healthy work force. Tobacco users are also less productive while they are alive, due to increased sickness. A 1994 report estimated that the use of tobacco resulted in an annual global net loss of US $200 thousand million, a third of this loss being in developing countries, where it is a major factor in poverty. More information about the WHO and tobacco control efforts can be found at the organization's Web site (www.who.int).
Besides these two posters, the Health for All Committee and the WFC have developed other materials for DCs to use in educating patients about the hazards of tobacco use. The WFC Web site (www.wfc.org) contains the two policy statements passed by the WFC in Orlando, Florida, in 2003. Also at the WFC Web site, chiropractors can download (for free!) an attractive and colorful trifold CAT brochure that can be given to patients; a seven-panel informational brochure for DCs that tells why the anti- tobacco campaign is important and what you can do to help; and the two anti-tobacco posters, plus a third poster, all in downloadable form. All of these materials can be printed in your own offices on most color printers or saved on to a disc and taken to a commercial print shop for reproduction. Three important history questions about tobacco use and exposure that should be asked of every new chiropractic patient on their first visit are also included in the materials.
Some of these CAT materials are currently being field-tested in a pilot research study conducted as a collaborative effort of the WFC, the Chiropractic Health Care Section of the American Public Health Association, and Parker College and Palmer University, with Cheryl Hawk, DC, PhD, as principal investigator. But although this study is ongoing, the materials can and should be downloaded from the Web site and used now.
Grateful acknowledgement is given to Don Petersen Jr. for subsidizing the printing and distribution costs of these posters; to the two vendors who supported our profession and sponsored the posters - Rob Cooper, president of Scrip Chiropractic Supply, and Perry Isenberg, vice-president of marketing for Biofreeze/Performance Health, Inc.; to Palmer University, for creative artwork and other assistance; and to Life University for its earlier participation.
The WFC Health for All Committee members and their affiliations/world regions are:
- Rand Baird, DC, MPH - Chairperson
- Gary Auerbach, DC - North America
- Sira Borges, DC, MD - Latin America
- Evalie Heath, DC - Africa
- Deborah Kopansky-Giles, DC - North America
- Anthony Metcalfe, DC - Europe
- Efstathios Papadopoulos, DC - Eastern Mediterranean
- Bruce Vaughan, DC - Asia
- Inger Villadsen, DC - Pacific
- David Chapman-Smith, ex officio
In addition, Drs. David Koch and Medhat Alattar of Palmer and Palmer-Florida serve as expert advisors to the committee.
Besides helping our own patients, participation in mainstream public health activities such as this one improves chiropractic communications and credibility with other health care providers, the general public, and with various governments as well. Watch for the WFC Health for All Committee to continue its activities, and please communicate your suggestions and comments to the members listed above.
Start displaying the posters in your offices today, and see how they improve your image and your patients' perception of you as a leader in this important worldwide public health endeavor.
|Instructions for Removing the Posters From This Issue |
Click here for previous articles by Rand Baird, DC, MPH, FICA, FICC.