‘Top Docs’ addresses crucial need to increase Georgia’s tobacco tax

The latest edition of the Medical Association of Georgia’s (MAG) ‘Top Docs’ show addresses the crucial need for Georgia lawmakers to increase the state’s tobacco tax in 2020 – and it features three of the nation’s most influential physicians, including American Medical Association (AMA) President Patrice Harris, M.D., MA, American College of Physicians (ACP) President Jaqueline Fincher, M.D., MACP, and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) President Sara “Sally” H. Goza, M.D., FAAP.     

They discuss…

– Georgia’s adult smoking rate
– Smoking, vaping and nicotine use among children and teens
– Georgia’s cigarette tax, the last time it increased, and how it compares with other states      
– Whether increasing the tobacco tax will reduce teen smoking
– How raising the cost of cigarettes translates into good health policy 
– How tobacco use undermines Georgia’s economy 
– How much tax revenue a tobacco tax increase would generate  
– If cigarette taxes are a reliable source of revenue
– How a tobacco tax increase would affect lower income people    
– Whether a tobacco tax increase will prevent deaths    
– The health risks associated with vaping and e-cigarettes
– If Georgia taxes vaping products and e-cigarettes, and whether it should

Dr. Harris is a child and adolescent psychiatrist from Atlanta. Having been a member of AMA’s Board of Trustees since 2011 and the chair of the AMA Opioid Task Force since it was formed in 2014, she is the first African American woman to become AMA’s president. In addition to MAG, Dr. Harris has held leadership positions at the American Psychiatric Association, the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association, and The Big Cities Health Coalition. She is a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, an adjunct assistant professor in the Emory University School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and an adjunct clinical assistant professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Morehouse University School of Medicine. Having earned a master’s degree and a medical degree from West Virginia University, Dr. Harris completed her residency in psychiatry and fellowships in child and adolescent psychiatry and forensic psychiatry at Emory.

Dr. Fincher is a partner at the Center for Primary Care-McDuffie Medical in Thomson – having been with the practice since 1988. She has served on ACP’s Board of Regents since 2015, she served as the chair of ACP’s Medical Practice and Quality Committee, and she was the governor of ACP’s Georgia Chapter from 2011 to 2015. Dr. Fincher became a Master (i.e., recognition for “outstanding and extraordinary career accomplishments”) of ACP in 2011. Board certified in internal medicine, Dr. Fincher has a medical degree from Medical College of Georgia, completing her internship and residency training at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta.

Dr. Goza has been a pediatrician in Fayetteville for more than 30 years. She is a managing partner in First Georgia Physicians Group. Dr. Goza is on the Community Physicians Advisory Board for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She has been involved with AAP’s Georgia Chapter for over 20 years, having served on its Board of Directors and its Medicaid Task Force and as its president. Dr. Goza has served on the boards for the Girl Scouts of America, Promise Place (domestic violence), and the Joseph Sams School for children with special needs. Dr. Goza has a medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia, and she completed an internship and a residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Between downloads and live listeners, ‘Top Docs’ has now reached more than one million listeners and viewers – which includes people in all 50 states and more than 80 countries. MAG has won two awards for the show, including an American Association of Medical Society Executives Profiles of Excellence Award and a Health Information Resource Center Digital Health Award.

‘Top Docs’ is supported with a grant from Alliant Health Solutions in memory of Tom Williams, its former CEO.

In addition to the video recordings that are available on Facebook, ‘Top Docs’ is available as a podcast on AppleGoogleSpotifyStitcher, and iHeart Radio.  

MAG ‘Top Docs’ show on need to increase Georgia’s tobacco tax

Resources

Georgia’s Health Groups Support Increasing Tobacco Tax Letter

AAP Tobacco Prevention Policy Tool

Raising Cigarette Taxes Reduces Smoking, Especially Among Kids

AHA poll “shows overwhelming support for tobacco tax increase [in Georgia]

Map of State Cigarette Tax Rates

AMA website

AAFP website

GAFP website

ACP website

Georgia ACP Chapter website

The views of the guests who appear on ‘Top Docs’ are theirs and aren’t necessarily consistent with MAG’s policies or positions. Contact Tom Kornegay at tkornegay@mag.org with questions about MAG’s ‘Top Docs’ show.