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House commits AOA to goal of establishing tobacco-free schools

A widely endorsed resolution calling on the AOA to “commit to the goal of establishing and supporting” tobacco-free osteopathic medical schools won the approval of the AOA House of Delegates on July 16.


During a committee meeting, Nicholas Russell Beatty, OMS IV, argues that the resolution on tobacco-free osteopathic medical schools should retain wording calling for the AOA to establish a working group. (Photo by Carolyn Schierhorn)

Dr. Faigin

Al E. Faigin, DO, argues that requiring the AOA to establish a working group would delay approval of the resolution. (Photo by Carolyn Schierhorn)

“It’s important for our profession to show leadership by taking a strong stand on this issue,” said Nicholas Russell Beatty, OMS IV, the lead author of the resolution, who attends the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine of New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury. “The profession needs to align its own practices with its public message on tobacco use.”

Beatty, however, expressed disappointment that the resolution was “watered down” in committee. The House Reference Committee on Public Affairs deleted the resolution’s call for the AOA to establish a working group that would develop actionable plans to meet the resolution’s goal.

Texas delegate Al E. Faigin, DO, proposed the working-group deletion to ease the measure’s acceptance. “The resolution as worded would have to be referred to the AOA Finance Committee for approval,” Dr. Fagin said during the reference committee’s meeting. Noting that the Texas Osteopathic Medical Association withdrew a similar measure in order to support the resolution, Dr. Faigin urged the committee to accept his suggestion to help ensure the policy’s immediate approval by the House.

Beatty pointed out that in drafting the resolution, the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents followed the U. S. government’s strategic action plan for ending the tobacco epidemic. “We thought it was an excellent model for America, and that is why we used similar language,” he explained.

Submitted jointly by 14 state osteopathic medical associations, the resolution easily passed a voice vote in the House.