New Book Offers Cigarette Users ‘A Smoker’s Guide to Health & Fitness’

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Tamir Katz, MD, and Hila Katz, MA Offer Perspective for Improving a Smoker’s Health

In their new book, “A Smoker’s Guide to Health & Fitness,” sibling authors physician Tamir Katz and writer and researcher Hila Katz argue that, in addition to smoking cessation, a smoker’s health can be greatly improved through a proper diet, regular exercise, and other health-promoting measures.

“As far as we know, there just aren’t any other books out there tailored for smokers and how they can be healthier, whether or not they choose to quit,” says Dr. Katz, a graduate of SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine.

“We detail just how bad smoking can be for the body, and throughout the book we do emphasize smoking cessation, or at the very least reduction, as the best way to improve one's health. However, at the same time we opted for a realistic approach; because not everyone is able to, or chooses, to stop, we also address other ways to improve health – right now – regardless of someone’s current smoking habit.”

Hila Katz, a professional writer who has researched substance use disorders, says that one approach of the book was to avoid “talking down” to readers in discussing a smoker’s health.

“We don’t reduce cigarette users to their habit or imply that they have some sort of character flaw,” she says. “They shouldn’t be treated like pariahs – that’s not the best way to convince people to improve their health.”

In the book, the pair lay out a practical and informative guide for improving a smoker’s health with exercise, diet, vitamins, medical check-ups and preventative screenings, stress reduction and treatment of mental illness, tobacco cessation resources (for those smokers who wish to quit), and awareness of smoking-related illnesses.

“It's an excellent resource for current and former smokers as well as their family and friends,” Dr. Katz says.

It’s not just what smokers don’t know that can hurt them; it’s also what they think they know, says Hila.

“We address myths that smokers buy into and issues related to stress and mental health that keep smokers reaching for cigarettes.”

About Tamir Katz

Tamir Katz, MD is a graduate of SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine and received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Cornell University. He completed his residency training in family medicine at the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center Family Medicine Residency Program, where he served as chief resident. Currently he practices family medicine in Spring Valley, N.Y., where he lives with his wife and children.

About Hila Katz

Hila Katz received her bachelor’s degree at Columbia University where she studied psychology and creative writing; she also holds a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. She has an extensive research background, including work on substance abuse disorders and other mental health issues. As a writer, her work ranges from short fiction to academic journal articles. Among her current writing projects is a novel.

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