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Our Leadership Club is celebrating its 2-year anniversary. Thank you for becoming a member! I hope the articles we email every two months are interesting and helpful. If you are a new member of our club, click here to read past articles.

Our goal is to improve your ability to influence people and help you become a stronger, more effective leader. We encourage you to use your leadership skills to gently change the culture against smoking. When doctors and health care workers join together to promote non-smoking, the beautiful people of China will enjoy a better life.

What is Social Responsibility?

Social responsibility is when individual citizens, groups or organizations act in ethical ways that help people around them. Social responsibility is doing what is right to make the world a better place.

As a doctor or health care worker, what is your social responsibility? Do you have a duty to make life better and healthier for people in your country and your community?

Children in Danger

Look at this sad video of 2 young boys playing on a train. They are happy and have no idea they are playing with toxic poison. No one has warned them of the danger. They desperately need help.

When my youngest daughter was 4 years old, she was playing in our home with a small pair of scissors. Not understanding the danger, she pushed them into an electrical outlet on the wall and was terrified when sparks and fire shot out around her little hand.

The electrical shock could have killed her. But thankfully, only the scissors were damaged and our precious girl was not hurt. But my wife held her close and gave her a lesson about the danger of electricity and how poking metal objects into wall outlets can kill children or burn them badly.

Young boys in China need lessons about the danger of smoking. Every parent understands their responsibility to teach children to keep away from electricity, fire, hot stoves and sharp knives. But some parents do not understand the deadly poison of cigarettes.

Please watch this upsetting video of cute little boy and his father. Again, they do not know the danger of cigarette smoke. Neither do the adults who are watching. If they understood how deadly cigarettes are, no one would be laughing. These people need your help. They need kind, caring doctors and heath care workers to gently show them how smoking causes disease and kills many, many people.

Big Problem

The average age for Chinese boys to smoke their first cigarette is eleven. They have learned from adults around them that smoking is an important part of friendship and business relationships. The young boys in these videos have watched fathers, uncles and grandfathers share cigarettes and smoke with friends. Young boys want to grow up to be just like the men they admire.

As they get older, there is increasing pressure on young men to smoke. When they get a job and the boss offers a cigarette, it is almost impossible for them to say no. Cigarettes have become such a big part of China's culture that most people accept smoking as a natural part of life. Cigarettes have become the gift of choice for special occasions and red boxes of double happiness are popular for weddings. But stop and think about it. Is highly addictive poison really a good gift to help a new couple start their life together?

Unfortunately, the use of cigarettes remains common among medical professionals. One out of three doctors still smoke. Urologist Yong Yeng recently quit after 20 years. In an interview he said health concerns about smoking are not understood by most people. Even as a doctor, Yong Yeng said he is still a little confused about how bad it is for health.

Disaster Around Us

China has the world's largest population, as well as the biggest smoking problem. While warnings of terrible health risks have reduced smoking rates around the word, tobacco use in China has quadrupled since the 1970s.

  • 11% of 14 year old boys smoke
  • 53% of men smoke and are poor examples to young boys
  • 1,000,000 smokers die each year from tobacco-related disease

It was a great national tragedy when more than 70,000 people died in the Sichuan earthquake, one of China's worst natural disasters. But a much bigger disaster is happening all around us. More than 70,000 people die each month in China from tobacco related disease and we hardly notice. Unless big changes are made to the culture of smoking, the number of deaths each month is expected to jump to 150,000 by the year 2020.

We cannot let this happen. To avoid this disaster, doctors and health care workers must accept their social responsibility and become leaders in the fight against smoking.

You Can Help

There is a great need for doctors and health care workers to become educators against the use of tobacco. It is your social responsibility. Many people do not understand the dangers of smoking. But you know the poison sucked into the lungs with each cigarette is doing damage. You understand the deadly effects of smoking. To know and understand and not share this knowledge is unfair to those who do not realize the dangers.

Many countries around the world have seen smoking rates drop when doctors and health care workers educate people around them. With your knowledge, skill and education, you have the greatest potential of any group in society to promote the dangers of smoking.

Please join us by using your leadership skills in the fight against smoking. By working together we can save many lives.

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