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Dr Stella Bialous

Dr Stella Bialous

Associate Professor in Residence, Social and Behavioral Sciences, School of Nursing, University of California San Francisco

"I began my nursing career more than 30 years ago in Brazil, working initially in medical-surgery floors and eventually moving into cancer prevention. This was where my tobacco knowledge began, and from here I developed a strong interest in smoking cessation and how nurses could take a more holistic approach with their patients to this end. A few years later I realized that nurses, if properly mobilized, could be a “formidable” opponent of the tobacco industry (as stated in an formerly secret industry document).

This was the start of a lifelong effort to mobilise nurses to become more engaged with their patients and to try to understand – and remove – some of the barriers preventing this. Lack of time is often cited as a reason, but to me, talking about smoking cessation is an integral part of nursing, not an add-on. We don’t say ‘take an extra minute to take this patient’s blood pressure’ and I feel that discussing smoking should be as fundamental as the other core duties we perform as nurses..."

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