Let's grow food not tobacco: slogan for this 2023
The Ministry of Health in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) commemorated this year, World No Tobacco Day, with the slogan "Let's grow food not tobacco", a campaign that aims to raise awareness among the general population about the environmental impact of tobacco from its cultivation and production to its distribution and the waste it generates.
Luis Francisco Sucre, Minister of Health of Panama indicated that the World Health Organization (WHO) awarded Panama with the prize as the first country in the Americas Region with the lowest prevalence of tobacco consumption in population aged 15 and over, given that it is estimated at 5%.
"In this campaign, governments and regulatory bodies are urged to toughen legislation and above all to apply and reinforce existing devices to force producers to be responsible for the environmental and economic costs of waste derived from tobacco products," said the minister.
In Panama there are 56 cessation clinics operating at national level for those who wish to quit smoking. These facilities have a multidisciplinary team that evaluates, in an integral way, the smoker, including individual therapy and management in therapeutic groups. In addition, after the medical evaluation, those interested in ceasing tobacco consumption will receive medications that will support them in their determination to quit this addiction.
During this encounter with the press, it was mentioned that the treatment lasts 8 to 12 weeks, the patient attends once a week, during the sessions and also receives training on
the damage that tobacco causes to the organism, knowledge that will help them in the decision making process.
This year a press conference was held, in which Minister Sucre was accompanied by Ana Rivieré, representative of WHO/PAHO in Panama; Melva Cruz, Director General of Health; Reina Roa, coordinator of the National Tobacco Control Commission; Gabriela Salazar, Director of Health Promotion and Víctor Luna rector of the International Maritime University of Panama (UMIP), representing the Council of Rectors.
The Ministry of Health reports that, according to the Global Youth Tobacco Survey in Panama (13 to 15 years old), the prevalence in 2002 was 18.3% decreasing in 2017 to 7.8% and that the prevalence of tobacco consumption in adults (15 years and over) according to the National Health Survey, the prevalence of tobacco consumption in adults is 5%."