I find it ironic that the SEIU wouldn't take issue with one of their members smoking during some sort of demonstration for the Affordable Care Act (Altoona Mirror, Nov. 1).
The last patient the ACA is going to benefit is the tobacco abuser who goes on to develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/pulmonary hypertension/atrial fibrillation.
Oh, and likely by that point, obstructive sleep apnea and chronic respiratory failure (however, not necessarily in this order). Let us not forget the risk for coronary artery disease and need for revascularization either via bypass or stent.
And, yes, lung cancer is also a very real possibility. Keep an eye on your abdominal aorta.
I'm hopeful the demonstrator who was smoking can afford his deductible.
Rusty Todd Ellis, M.D., Acute and Critical Care Medicine