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Physiotherapists Join Fight Against Smoking

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Physiotherapists Join Fight Against Smoking

Physiotherapy patients shouldn't be surprised if next time they're getting treatment, they're asked whether they smoke.

Physiotherapy New Zealand is using World Smoke Free Day tomorrow to encourage its members to take a more active role in helping smokers to quit.

The new President of Physiotherapy New Zealand Gill Stotter says as primary health care providers, physiotherapists need to play a part in supporting other health professionals promote the smoke free message.

"The devastating diseases associated with smoking like cancers, long-term lung diseases, and coronary heart disease, are well-known. Smoking also delays healing which can affect a patient's outcome after injury or surgery. People also need to think about the effect smoking has on their everyday life even before they get chronically ill.

"Physiotherapy is about rehabilitation and movement for life. It's also about treating the whole patient. If they're smokers, then that needs to be taken into account," said Gill Stotter.

"Physiotherapists deal with many patients whose lives are very limited by illnesses caused by smoking, such as COPD - a long-term lung condition which cannot be reversed. Such patients have no energy and suffer painful chest and back cramps, and constant breathlessness.

"My hope is that many physiotherapists will take up the opportunity to find out more about how to provide advice to patients about quitting. It's great that some DHBs are offering free training for health professionals on smoking cessation. We should all be taking advantage of that for the benefit of our patients," said Gill Stotter.

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