Who Is Dr. Gopal Bhatnagar?

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Dr. Gopal Bhatnagar, Founder & Chief Medical Advisor of 180 Smoke

Dr. Bhatnagar is a leading cardiac surgeon and one of the few in North America to perform the minimally invasive “beating heart” surgery. He holds a fellowship in general surgery, thoracic surgery and cardiac surgery with both the American Board of Surgery and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Bhatnagar obtained his M.D. at the University of Western Ontario in 1986. In 1999, Bhatnagar also obtained a M.Ed. from OISE at the University of Toronto. From 1978-1982, he served with the Canadian Armed Force Reserves and with the regular standing forces for another year, as part of the Medical Corps. A practicing cardiac surgeon, Dr. Bhatnagar is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto. Until early 2013, he was the Chief of Medical Staff at a leading and large Canadian hospital. A rare mix of talent, compassion and leadership, he was honored for his medical services and leadership, being named as the Research Chair in Cardiac Health System Leadership. Dr. Bhatnagar is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He is also an avid athlete, and regularly participates in extreme sports.

"Everyday I see the ravages of cigarette smoking in my patients. Since it is the leading cause of heart disease, cancer and emphysema, we as physicians have to assist our patients in finding novel tobacco alternatives.

"We have to recognize that cigarette addiction has multiple causes and quitting is extraordinarily difficult. The traditional methods have a 70 percent failure rate—we wouldn’t accept that result for any other illness. From a public health point of view, immediately enacting tobacco harm reduction strategies and use of novel tools like e-cigarettes is going to benefit millions of people.

“The regulation of nicotine content is a matter of manufacturing quality control and does need to be subject to good manufacturing standards and practices. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is a standard anti-smoking strategy and e-vaporizers give the ability to simulate the manual and the oral sensation of a combustible product. There is also no proof, or in my mind a sensible extrapolation, that e-cigs are a gateway to toxic combustible tobacco products.”

— Dr. Gopal Bhatnagar (2013)