Quit smoking – with your doctor’s help

WHAT: Twenty minutes after the last cigarette, a person’s heart rate slows to normal. Twelve hours later, excess carbon monoxide vanishes from the bloodstream. Over the next few months, lung function improves and heart attack risk declines. Fifteen years after smokers quit, their risk of stroke or coronary heart disease is no different than a lifetime nonsmoker’s.

K. Ashok Kumar, M.D., a family doctor with UT Medicine San Antonio, will describe the risks of smoking and the benefits of quitting in “UT Medicine Presents: Ready to live smoke-free?”

The free, open-to-the-public lecture is the second in a new series featuring the physicians of UT Medicine, the medical practice of the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

WHEN: Tuesday, April 19, 2011, at 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Conference Room B, Medical Arts & Research Center (MARC), 8300 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, in the South Texas Medical Center area.

WHO: K. Ashok Kumar, M.D., a professor in the Department of Family & Community Medicine at the UT Health Science Center’s School of Medicine.

Ronda L. Lantz, a family nurse practitioner and faculty associate in the Department of Family & Community Medicine.

Dr. Kumar and Lantz see patients at the MARC’s family medicine clinic.

NOTES: During the presentation, Dr. Kumar will talk about the challenges smokers face as they try to quit – and how their doctors can help: “Most people think, ‘This is my problem. I want to try and get over it.’ Hey, we can help you. Your primary care doctor can help you with the nicotine addiction itself, as well as with the difficulties of quitting.”

Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of disease, disability and death, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The CDC estimates that 443,000 people die prematurely from smoking or secondhand smoke each year, and another 8.6 million live with a serious smoking-related illness. Smoking is linked to everything from heart disease and cancer to reproductive problems and osteoporosis.

For more information on UT Medicine San Antonio or to make an appointment, call 210-450-9000 or visit www.utmedicine.org.

UT Medicine San Antonio is the clinical practice of the School of Medicine at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. With more than 700 doctors – all faculty from the School of Medicine – UT Medicine is the largest medical practice in Central and South Texas, with expertise in more than 60 different branches of medicine. Primary care doctors and specialists see patients in private practice at UT Medicine’s clinical home, the Medical Arts & Research Center (MARC), located in the South Texas Medical Center at 8300 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio 78229. Most major health plans are accepted, and there are clinics and physicians at several local and regional hospitals, including CHRISTUS Santa Rosa, University Hospital and Baptist Medical Center. Call (210) 450-9000 to schedule an appointment, or visit the Web site at www.UTMedicine.org for a complete listing of clinics and phone numbers.

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