I have to let women know that cigarettes are one of the most addictive legal substances on the market. The product is always right there. In plain view. No pretense.
Thousands of packs of cigarettes are consumed every day. I think of tobacco consumption as death by a thousand blows. One of my patients disclosed that she began smoking when she was 5 years old. Encouraged by an older cousin, she would open the bottom of her mother's cigarette pack with a razor blade and remove cigarettes. She explained her reluctance to quit years later by commenting that the medications currently used for treatment of nicotine addiction can lead to suicidal tendencies. I calmly replied that she was already slowly killing herself. One puff at a time.
In this new year, I'd like to inspire and coach women to aggressively pursue health and wellness. For many women, the first step is to resist the urge to light up. Smoking is a very hard habit to break. It will be challenging, especially if you live in a household where others continue to smoke. No matter, you are strong. You care for your family and may work more than one job. Maybe you are going to school, working and raising a family all at the same time. If you can do that, you can quit smoking.
If you are a closet smoker, it's time to out yourself. It's time to celebrate your independence by publicly repudiating the nasty little habit you've grown to crave and need. You'll have to face the fact that, as with all addictions, your first step must be introspection, so don't flinch when the smart voice in your head tells you to wake up and free yourself from your dependency on a lethal substance.
I'm looking for recruits for the war against tobacco. It's been 50 years since the first surgeon general's report on smoking and health. That report concluded that:
Cigarette smoking is causally related to lung cancer in men
the magnitude of the effect of cigarette smoking outweighs all other factors
The risk of developing lung cancer increases with duration of smoking and number of cigarettes smoked per day, and diminishes by discontinuing smoking.1
I can help you. Here’s my five-point plan:
Relevance – I can provide you with health information that has the greatest impact on your status as a smoker.
Risks – Please know that your second-hand smoke subjects the people you love to acute risks (shortness of breath, worsening asthma, infertility), long-term risks (heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer) and environmental risks (low birth-weight babies, asthma, lung cancer and heart disease).
Rewards – You’ll enjoy better health and an improved sense of taste and smell, save money and reduce wrinkling of aging skin.
Roadblocks – We'll identify and tackle barriers to quitting, such as withdrawal symptoms, fear of failure, weight gain, lack of support and depression.
Repetition – Each time we talk, I'll repeat my motivational pitch.
Hello! I’m Sharon Ransom, MD. I’m an OB/GYN with Parkview Physicians Group in Bryan, Ohio. What do you want to know about your wonderful, beautifully created body? That’s exactly what I want to talk with you about on my blog. It’s a conversation. A new freedom. A new dialog.
I joined the Parkview Physicians Group –team in September 2012 and as the newest member of the obstetrics and gynecology team, I’m looking forward to serving the community of women and their families in northwest Ohio, northeast Indiana and southern Michigan.
I have lived and worked in the Midwest for most of my life, primarily Michigan and Indiana. I attended medical school at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan and completed my residency training in Lansing, Michigan.
Prior to joining the PPG – MCHA, I worked primarily in northwest Indiana and provided care for women in the communities of Hobart, Merrillville, East Chicago, Munster, Valparaiso, and Schererville.
I came of age in the city of Detroit amid the dynamic and historic cultural era that produced great cars, great music and places like the Ford Rotunda and Greenfield Village. Despite my intention to become an English teacher, I experienced several pivotal events that drew me to healthcare for women.
The first event occurred during my freshman year at Michigan State University. I was fortunate to meet a group of women who formed an off-campus organization called the Women’s Information Service. Our ad hoc social activism focused on creating awareness among our community by providing free information on healthcare, legal issues, sexual abuse, childcare, and employment.
The second event was the eye-opening experience of childbirth. Through my personal experiences, I became interested in birth and midwifery. Along with several women from the northern Michigan communities of Leelanau County, I helped to establish an organization called the Michigan Midwives Association. My interest in birth led me to a community known as “The Farm” in southern middle Tennessee. I was able to work for two years with Ina May Gaskin and the wonderful team of midwives who served their community and beyond.
During my time at The Farm, I was confronted with an important decision and decided to listen to my intuition and pursue the dream of becoming an obstetrician/gynecologist.
I have come to realize that the world is made of many different families which form small communities that grow into villages, towns and cities. Healthcare is a vital aspect for women and their families in all communities no matter how small.
Traveling has allowed me to reach out to distant communities and has broadened my experiences in women’s healthcare. I have developed the International Partnership for Reproductive Health, a non-profit organization focused on cervical cancer screening in Ethiopia. My year in New Zealand taught me that no matter where in the world we live, quality healthcare is provided when physicians listen to the women they serve.
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