Kudos to Dr. Prospero Gogo. As a cardiologist, he’s seen first-hand the impact tobacco can have on his patients and he wants to do more than treat their diseases caused by tobacco. He wants to prevent tobacco use in the first place.
He noted recently that a quarter of the patients his department sees at UVMMC every day for coronary heart disease are current or recent smokers. Many patients coming in for their second, fourth, or tenth admission for worsening heart disease continue to smoke and say they cannot stop despite the fact that they know smoking may very well kill them.
That’s why last year, Dr. Gogo worked with the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Vermont to pass legislation that prevented the use of e-cigarettes in Vermont’s public places and workplaces.
And why this year, he worked with us to try to pass legislation raising the sale age of tobacco to 21. Though the Senate voted against the measure, effectively killing the statewide effort this year, Dr. Gogo is pushing on to find another vehicle to move the issue. He’s now working to try to pass the measure as an ordinance in Burlington, bringing it before the city council just this week. It’s a mission we’re glad he’s undertaking.