About Ending The
Tobacco Holocaust author
Dr. Michael Rabinoff
“Dr. Mike”, Michael Rabinoff, D.O., Ph.D., author of Ending The Tobacco Holocaust, has spent over a decade researching and writing about the devastating effects of tobacco on our health, economy and nation’s politics. An esteemed psychiatrist and holder of two patents, Rabinoff has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal and Business Week, has published in the New England Journal of Medicine and other top-flight medical journals, and presented his findings on tobacco addiction and industry profiteers to the American Public Health Association and the World Congress on Tobacco or Health.
Michael Rabinoff graduated from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Rabinoff completed medical clerkships at Harvard Medical School in psychiatry, endocrinology and medical genetics, and at the National Institutes of Health in medical informatics. He completed his internship, residency and a National Institutes of Health funded fellowship in psychiatry at UCLA. He has received the Physician’s Recognition Award from the American Medical Association, and is board certified in psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
In addition to writing and holding academic positions within the UCLA Department of Psychiatry, he has practiced privately, with wards of the Department of Children and Family Services through Aviva Center shelters, with the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health, and, currently, through the Kaiser Permanente Medical Group. He is also the C.E.O. and President of Biogenesys, Inc., a small privately held biomedical research and development corporation.
In his new book, Ending the Tobacco Holocaust, Rabinoff shows the health and financial suicide we commit by allowing tobacco companies to continue doing business as usual—and, like any good doctor, provides a detailed prescription for what to do about it: simple actions you can take to save millions of lives in America and around the world.
When asked about his motivation to write Ending The Tobacco Holocaust, Michael Rabinoff says:
I have witnessed pain and suffering of unimaginable proportions in my medical and psychiatric training and practice that was caused by the effects of smoking: people riddled with lung cancer or other tumors throughout their bodies … or paralyzed from a stroke … or unable to breathe and gasping for air due to emphysema … or experiencing excruciating pain due to their unstable angina … or admitted for a heart attack … or having a limb amputated due to poor circulation … or having liters of fluid drained daily from the lining of their lungs due to a spreading cancer … or hallucinating from tumors that had spread to their brain from elsewhere in the body …or suffering from numerous debilitating illnesses. I know that smoking directly caused all of that suffering. And I know this horrifyingreality repeats itself daily in almost every hospital around the world.
Since 44.3 percent of cigarettes consumed in our country are smoked by people with mental illness, this issue truly does come into my office every day. I am often emotionally affected by it, and I do feel for the pain in my patient’s lives caused by smoking.
In Chapter 4 of the book, I talk about how the tobacco industry executives themselves use terms of waging war when discussing strategy among themselves. There is a “war” going on, right in front of us, but most people don’t notice. It’s been hiddenfrom most of us. Because one out of every five Americans die from smoking, our hospitals and clinics are filled with the casualties of this “war,” yet for the most part, most of us don’t “see” the “war.” Most people don’t see the daily realities of the insides of hospitals and clinics. But if you were to walk through the hospitals and clinics, if your eyes were open to this suffering, you would see it every day.
The average person may only come face to face with this “war” a few times in their life, when loved ones and close friends die from the effects of smoking. Even then, they don’t recognize it for what it is. But it is a “war” nonetheless.
While writing Ending The Tobacco Holocaust and talking with people, I became aware of a massive undercurrent of suffering that people carry because of the losses they’ve experienced in their personal lives due to smoking. When talking with groups of people, at first some people may deny that the issue affects them. Then they may make a cynical statement, such as that the family member or friend “did it to themselves”, or “what a shame”. But as the conversation continues, they often talk about the profound suffering they experienced due to the loss of their loved ones and friends.
I think this undercurrent of suffering was buried by feelings of powerlessness and fatalistic thoughts that nothing could be done. Ending The Tobacco Holocaust was written to address that: to educate and empower people to take simple actions that will create a better world for everyone.