Making cigarettes a thing of the past Making cigarettes a thing of the past

Coomeva Private Healthcare is a participant of the Ministry of Health’s smoking cessation program.

Medical advisor: Sandra Viviana Muñoz Rodríguez
National Epidemiologist, Coomeva Private Healthcare

Just like what happens when you go to the gym to exercise, spend more time with family, want to eat healthier or learn a language, it is often many people’s goal to quit smoking, especially for new year’s. As with all goals, this goal can be achieved with a little bit of willpower.

Once active smokers become fully aware of the effects tobacco has on their health, most want to quit this habit. It is difficult to make this decision, however, as nicotine (the main component of cigarettes) is addictive. This type of information is what the Colombian Ministry of Health provides through its smoking cessation and tobacco awareness program.

As this initiative indicates, and due to the fact that exposure to cigarette smoke has negative consequences on the well-being of individuals, society and the environment, tobacco use is a public health issue. This is why the Colombian Ministry of Health’s program includes a combination of initiatives for tobacco users, as well as comprehensive and opportune care, so they can stay tobacco-free for better health.

 With this commitment in mind, healthcare providing institutions (IPS) also work to offer treatment plans for this population. An example of this is with the informational campaigns to prevent tobacco use and to support quitting that have been developed by Coomeva Private Healthcare, an organization that continues to be active with its commitment to this government initiative by promoting healthy lifestyle habits among its affiliates through different mediums.

“Stopping tobacco use is important because it is the main risk factor of preventable deaths in the world. It is associated with different types of cancer, and respiratory diseases such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), and other cardiovascular diseases,” states Sandra Viviana Muñoz Rodríguez, national epidemiologist for Coomeva Private Healthcare. Similarly, the WHO estimates that if the right preventative measures are not taken, the number of annual deaths around the world caused by tobacco use may jump to 8 million in 2030.

“It is important to stress that those affected by tobacco use are not only active smokers; those referred to as passive smokers are also affected, which are those who are constantly exposed to cigarette smoke,” Muñoz indicates. The goal is therefore to address and reduce the number of those who start smoking, provide incentives to those who quit, and treat tobacco dependence through creating awareness, and providing education and healthcare. Coomeva Private Healthcare would like to reiterate its commitment to this goal, because when you quit smoking, you slowly reduce the risk of stroke, certain types of cancers, certain types of allergies, and the risk of suffering from decreased lung capacity, infections and respiratory diseases.

Staying committed

The Ministry of Health defines the abstinence ratio as the ratio of people who manage to not smoke for a certain period of time.

The prolonged abstinence rate, on the other hand, measures those who manage to remain without smoking between their quit date and another final assessment date (for example 6 months, 12 months).

Related: What happens to your body when you quit smoking?