Contact: Thomas Hottman
A super hero descended upon downtown Klamath Falls Wednesday afternoon to protect its citizens from a life-threatening scourge. Well, it wasn't a super hero as much as it was an community-minded retired physician, but the threat was certainly real. Dr. Glenn Gailis, donning Batman's cowl and cape, set out to educate people in Klamath Falls of the serious dangers of smoking
"Tobacco is a huge problem," he said. Gailis said around 13 percent of Oregonians are smokers and, aside from the potential for tobacco products to cause cancer and other life-threatening conditions, the deteriorating health of a tobacco user is a problem on its own. "It's a huge tax on our health services," he said.
While spreading the word about tobacco use, Gailis picked up cigarette butts from the sidewalk and handed out fliers for local Freedom From Smoking classes hosted by Sky Lakes Medical Center. He also said it is not his goal to cast judgment on smokers or make them feel uncomfortable, but to at least let them know where they can find help. "Most smokers have at least tried to quit smoking," he said. A new eight-class session of Freedom From Smoking began Monday and is held every week from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Sky Lakes Community Health Education Center (2200 North Eldorado Ave., in Klamath Falls). Registration is available by calling 541-274-7250 or at skylakes.org.