November 12, 2015

Tobacco’s Effects on Youth Focus of Lung Cancer Symposium

Nov. 12, 2015 | The effects of tobacco use on young people highlighted a recent day-long event co-sponsored by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).

Tobacco and Disease: The Sixth Annual Lung Cancer Symposium was held Nov. 6 at St. Mark Baptist Church in Little Rock and welcomed lung cancer experts, survivors, youth and advocates to discuss the fight against America’s deadliest cancer.

The event featured a full day of speakers on topics ranging from the effects of nicotine in the body to tobacco legislation and new tobacco delivery products.

“In many cases, lung cancer is a preventable disease. However, it still claims the lives of more Arkansans each year than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined,” said Thaddeus Bartter, M.D., interventional pulmonologist and professor of medicine in UAMS Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Bartter was the event’s medical director.

With a focus on advocating for tobacco-free youth, the event featured speakers from Arkansas and across the country addressing issues related to tobacco industry marketing techniques and strategies to prevent tobacco use among young people. Representatives from Arkansas Youth Extinguishing Smoking (YES) also made a presentation to attendees.

“One of the keys to reducing our lung cancer rates is to educate our young people about the dangers of tobacco use. This event is a step in that direction for the youth of our state,” Bartter said.

Nationally recognized speakers included Ritney Castine, director for youth activism and historically black colleges and universities at the Truth Initiative; Gustavo Torrez, associate director of youth advocacy at The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids; and Frank Leone, M.D., director of comprehensive smoking treatment programs and associate professor of medicine at Presbyterian Medical Center of Philadelphia.

Event sponsors were UAMS, Arkansas Cancer Coalition, Arkansas Department of Health Stamp out Smoking, Arkansas Youth Leadership Initiative, Arkansas Biosciences Institute and Project Prevent.