For anyone who wants to give up smoking, determination and strong will is important, but the advice given by GPs, nurses and in therapy sessions is also very effective in helping people to overcome a dependence on tobacco.
In the first ten months of this year, a total of 8,686 people successfully managed to stop smoking at health centres in Malaga province, and this was 0.8 per cent more than in the same period last year.
Smoking is the main preventable cause of death. Every year in Andalucía about 10,000 people die because of this addiction. Smoking has major negative effects on health. It is the principal cause of mouth and lung tumors, and also leads to cardiopulmonary and respiratory illnesses.
To tackle this problem, the Junta de Andalucía's Ministry of Health has set up an anti-smoking plan known as PITA (Plan Integral contra el Tabaquismo), to try to encourage teenagers not to smoke, reinforce medical assistance for smokers who want to give up, provide extra training so that medical professionals can actively help them to do so and generate further research in this field.
The Malaga-Guadalhorce health district is a pioneer in designing and developing health programmes at medical centres in Andalucía. It was in this area that the first PITA plan was put into effect, between February 2006 and December 2013.
Some of the methods which are used under the PITA plan to help people stop smoking and encourage others not to start, are a plan of communication, additional basic and advanced training for health workers, an attention programme for smokers at their local health centres, promoting good health in the workplace, and a variety of preventive and awareness activities in the community.