In the News

Egan: How to get street people off drugs? Get them off smokes, study suggests

In 2013, a study of 858 HIV at-risk drug users in Ottawa uncovered a startling, off-hand statistic: 96 per cent were smokers.

It hardly surprised Dr. Smita Pakhalé, a staff respirologist at The Ottawa Hospital and a clinical researcher. As a “lung doctor,” she saw the downstream effects of heavy smoking in a vulnerable population: pulmonary disease, strokes, cancers of every kind, rotten teeth, scores of other ailments.

“Tobacco affects you head-to-toe, every single organ in your body,” she said one day last week, admitting she was frustrated with putting “Band-Aids” on the problem at the clinic level. So, she attacked the source.

Click here to read the full Ottawa Citizen article

Photo credit: Julie Oliver

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