Focus on smoking Focus on smoking

Cigarette use is a worldwide public health problem. Quitting this habit requires willpower and special support.

Medical Advisors
Jefferson Antonio Buendía Rodríguez – Pulmonologist and Gabriel Restrepo – Resident at the Toxicology Clinic

People that want to stop smoking must first recognize they have an addiction that affects their health, their life and the lives of those that surround them. Seeing a specialist can help to treat this problem. It is therefore extremely important to not practice this habit in places that are shared with others, especially with children, as they are bound to be affected by second-hand smoke in some way as passive smokers.

As the World Health Organization explains, smoking is the main cause of preventable deaths in the world and is the culprit of diseases such as lung cancer, tracheal cancer, bronchial adenoma and of cancer in the airways in general. It is also related to coronary artery disease, strokes, kidney failure and other chronic conditions. Some recommended activities to help you quit smoking include changing your routine, beginning to do exercise, practicing some type of sport (preferably a water sport), avoiding the consumption of liquor and coffee, and drinking water and fruit juices between meals.

Why is it discouraged?

Smoking changes the neurobiology of your central nervous system’s regulatory pathways, leading to addictions and making it difficult to quit. This is why toxicologists are helpful in treating the problem as an illness and not as a habit.

18 to 62 years is the range of years of when smoking cigarettes is most common, a habit that is more frequent among men than women.

Toxic ingredients

Tobacco contains more than 7,000 toxic ingredients. It is not just about nicotine, which causes dependency and gives it a pleasant effect; tar and carbon monoxide (among others) are also involved, leading to other diseases, including cancer.

10% to 12% of Colombia’s mortality rate is caused by cigarette use.

The situation in Colombia

According to the National Study on the Consumption of Psychoactive Substances by the Ministry of Health, of Colombia’s three million smokers, 20% are from Medellín and its surrounding metropolitan area, and 16% are from Bogotá. The departments with the least percentage of smokers are Córdoba and Atlántico.

25% is the percent by which cigarette use may reduce by 2030 as a result of tax increases on tobacco.


Source: Ministry of Health and Social Protection and the World Health Organization