Greek scientist Sophia Papadakis has travel to Crete in order to implement a program that is going to help people quit smoking. At the moment 38% of the Greek population smokes, making it the leading European country for tobacco consumption.
Papadakis believes that if she helps doctors promote a smoking cessation method developed by the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, then the percentage will significantly drop. She applied for a small grant and organized a two-year pilot program that will involve 52 Greek doctors on the island of Crete.
The program aims to teach doctors how to help their patients quit smoking. It was established that around 30% of the doctors involved in the program are smokers as well, therefore, Papadakis urged them to try the methods and see the results for themselves.
“I’ve been working with them one-on-one to help them through,” she said.
The method developed at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute starts with the doctors establishing whether their patients are smokers, and then offering the necessary medication, such as nicotine replacement therapy. Physicians will monitor patient progress over the course of several months and offer further assistance, if needed.
Papadakis was part of a team that developed the smoking cessation program and was its director at the heart institute. She found the chance to implement the method in Greece when the health care alliance for tobacco dependence treatment, Global Bridges offered grants to higher-income countries in order to address tobacco dependence in lower-income countries.