Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Smoker's Guide to Health and Fitness

On the occasion of the 37th Annual Great American Smokeout, it's fitting that I reveal to you: A Smoker's Guide to Health and Fitness, an e-book I've co-authored with one of my brothers, who's a family medicine doctor.

In his practice he has a number of patients who smoke and many others who used to. The majority of them care about their health, even if they're not always doing what's best for them (including smoking, eating poorly, and not getting enough physical activity), so it occurred to him to write up the kinds of information he shares with them in an e-book that would address their total health and fitness, mental and physical, no matter what stage they're at (e.g. smoking and trying to quit, smoking and not attempting to quit, stopped smoking years ago but have concerns about elevated cancer risk). Earlier this year he asked me to help him with this.

The book is not yet available but we've set up a site for it which we hope will become a community for people interested in improving their health and promoting good health among others - without shaming smokers or focusing only on their cigarette use (as opposed to addressing all of their health needs): is the site.

Two additional reasons to go there:

1) We're now hosting a giveaway of the book that includes a gift card to a major online retailer you book-lovers out there might appreciate (so don't hesitate to sign up, and also to spread the word to smokers and ex-smokers in your life who would benefit from the book).

2) In the "Contact the Authors" section you'll get to see a photo of me. Camera shy as I am, I've never put a photo up on this blog, but there I'm unveiled in all my co-authorial glory...

Seriously, I'm happy to have helped my brother with this. He's a wonderful doctor, cares about his patients and goes beyond the textbook in thinking about their issues and helping them out; he doesn't see them as a walking checklist of symptoms, but as individuals, and in addition to treating their existing problems he places a great deal of emphasis on prevention and good health habits.

It's also been interesting co-authoring a book, fitting in what I'm writing to what the other person is writing and not being the only one who's got a say as to what goes in the book or is left out as the writing progresses; I've co-authored smaller academic pieces before but not something like this (the other large writing projects I have underway at the moment are just my own).