A smoker has most likely taken their first puff by 5th grade. The food choices an adult makes are cemented in the lifestyle that was set by age 5. These shocking statistics are what led Dr. Salim Surani, MD, pulmonologist, internist and sleep specialist, to realize his greatest work was not going to be at a patient’s bedside. Instead it would be by reaching a generation long before they become a patient at all. This passion for prevention is what led he and his wife Zehra, a nurse, to pursue methods of early education aimed at elementary-aged children. In 2004, he began to develop a classroom instructional program and video that introduced children to the dangers of smoking. Its success led to a broader scope as smoking was only the tip of the cultural healthcare crisis.

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