CEO and Founder of Cool Quit, Dr. Eugene Gu, Discusses Smoking Cessation in a Telehealth World
LOS ANGLES, CA, USA, July 15, 2020 / — According to the American Lung Association, tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disability, disease, and death in America. “Every year, nearly half a million people in the United States die prematurely of smoking or secondhand smoke exposure,” says Dr. Eugene Gu. And another 16 million suffer from serious illnesses caused by smoking.
It’s Difficult to Quit Smoking Says Dr. Eugene Gu
In fact, almost 70% of smokers want to quit, but fewer than one in ten are able to quit successfully. And less than a third of those who tried to quit used proven cessation treatments.
“That’s why we developed Cool Quit,” says Dr. Eugene Gu. “We wanted to find a way to reach smokers who want to quit – but they’re just not able to on their own.”
How Can Telehealth Help Smokers Quit? Dr. Eugene Gu Explains
“Telehealth has the potential to improve access to healthcare across the board,” enthuses Dr. Eugene Gu. “Rural communities with a lack of providers, patients with limited mobility or limited time – telehealth resolves so many entry barriers.”
However, there are challenges that come with the implementation of telehealth, admits Dr. Eugene Gu. A stable internet connection for one.
“The communities that could benefit most from telehealth are often also the ones with the least access to modern conveniences like the internet and electricity,” explains Dr. Eugene Gu. “But there is still an enormous opportunity to improve the quality of life for people who want to quit smoking and who have access to telehealth currently.”
“All tobacco cessation services include three evidence-based counseling modalities and seven FDA-approved medications,” says Dr. Eugene Gu. “Extensive studies have found that counseling and medication are both effective separately, but when they are used together, the combination is more effective than either method alone.”
And that’s where telehealth steps in. “Telehealth appointments are unique in that they are able to combine counseling and medication into one appointment,” says Eugene Gu. “And that appointment is able to take place in your home. That’s the crux of the issue. People who would never have made time to drive to the doctor’s office, wait in the waiting room, and then go out again to pick up their prescription – those same people are happy to pick up their phone or sit in front of a computer for a fifteen-minute telehealth call.”
Dr. Eugene Gu is a 2015 graduate of the Duke University School of Medicine and completed his general surgery residency at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center of Nashville, TN. He then went on to found Ganogen Research, a company dedicated to developing methods to save infants born with congenital heart and kidney issues. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Cool Quit – a smoking cessation company.