Smoking Cessation Summit "End the Epidemic" Conversation: The Problem
The CDC's Dr. Julie Gerberding and NBC's Medical Expert Dr. Nancy Snyderman headline a panel on why people continue to smoke cigarettes despite the fact it is commonly known tobacco is hazardous to one's health.
After 30 years of anti-tobacco measures and negative sentiment, cigarettes still kill more Americans than AIDS, murder, suicide, car accidents and fires combined. Amongst a myriad of issues to be addressed, the panel will explore why an increasingly disproportionate number of minorities are smoking compared to other communities, discuss whether treating nicotine addiction is financially viable and, if so, who should pay for it, and look at why we still see cigarettes in movies- Commonwealth Club of California
Joe Kerr is Fire Captain and President of the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association Local 3631.
Dr. Bill Releford
Dr. Bill J. Releford, D.P.M., founder of the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program, begin this project October of 2007 out of the need to address health care disparities among African Americans.
As a podiatirc surgeon based in Los Angeles, Dr. Releford specializes in diabetic limb salvage to help reduce the extraordinary high number of diabetes-related amputations experienced by African Americans. With the number of new diabetes cases on the rise, its only a matter of time before a Tsunami of cardiovascular disease complications could devastate the already fragile African American community.
Dr. Bill Releford, a graduate of the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia, established The Releford Institute for Limb Salvage and Wound Care at Miracle Mile Medical Centerto exclusively address diabetes-related amputations in high-risk populations around the world. Dr. Releford is recognized both domestically as well as internationally as a leader in the field of limb salvage wound care.
Patrick Reynolds' advocacy work, motivational talks to youth and appearances in the national press have made him a well known and respected champion of a smokefree society. He has helped remind millions of people of the dangers of smoking.
Patrick watched his father, RJ Reynolds, Jr., his oldest brother RJ Reynolds III, and other members of his family die from cigarette-induced emphysema and lung cancer. Concerned about the mounting health evidence, in 1986 he made the decision to speak out against the industry his family helped build. He became the first tobacco industry figure to do so.
A grandson of tobacco company founder RJ Reynolds, Patrick first spoke out publicly at a Congressional hearing, in favor of a ban on all cigarette advertising (1986). In late 2003, former US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop commented, "Patrick Reynolds is one of the nation's most influential advocates of a smokefree America. His testimony is invaluable to our society."
Mr. Reynolds testified again in Congress in 1987, joining the many voices who helped bring about the present ban of smoking on all US domestic flights.
In 1989, Mr. Reynolds founded the Foundation for a Smokefree America, a nonprofit group whose mission is to motivate youth to stay tobacco free, and to empower smokers to quit successfully. He is a frequent speaker colleges, middle schools, and high schools, presenting his unique talk, The Truth About Tobacco, which combines motivational speaking with tobacco education. He is also a popular guest lecturer on university campuses, giving his talk Tobacco Wars. Over the years, Patrick has now presented his live talk to over 150,000 students.
Dr. Nancy Snyderman joined NBC News as the chief medical editor in September 2006. Her reports appear on "Today," "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams," "Dateline NBC," MSNBC, and MSNBC.com.
Snyderman has reported on wide-ranging medical topics affecting both men and women and has traveled the world extensively, reporting from many of its most troubled areas. She is on staff in the Department of the Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania.
Prior to joining NBC News, Snyderman served as vice president of consumer education for the health care corporation Johnson & Johnson. There she led the independent educational initiative, Understanding Health, focusing on educating and informing the public about health and medicine.
Before that, Snyderman served as the medical correspondent for ABC News for 17 years and was a contributor to "20/20," "Primetime," and "Good Morning America." Prior to leaving ABC she was a frequent substitute co-host on "Good Morning America."
Snyderman attended medical school at the University of Nebraska and continued with residencies in Pediatrics and Ear, Nose, and Throat Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh. She joined the surgical staff at the University of Arkansas in 1983 and began her broadcasting career shortly after at KATV, the ABC affiliate in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Howard Weyers, CEO of Weyco (now a Meritain Health Company) has taken a unique and aggressive stance on tobacco use in the workplace. By implementing one of the most aggressive approaches to eradicating a significant public health concern, Mr. Weyers has set the bar for addressing tobacco use within American business.