Your Voice: Calculating the cost of smoking. Plus, a web poll on circumcision

November 1, 2009

Letter about smoking and web poll data.

As a group, we pediatricians are known for carrying calculators. This tool, or a similarly functioning app on our phones, is always nearby. Smoking cessation counseling is a new use for our old calculators.

First, I ask the smoker to estimate how much s/he spends on cigarettes per year. I ask caregivers and teen patients who smoke what brand of cigarettes they use. Often their cigarette of choice is a popular menthol-flavored brand. In our city, a pack retails for $7. With this information in mind, I produce the calculator.

MARK X. CICERO, MD
New Haven, Connecticut