Panama: Tobacco use cessation workshop


Between  11 and 13 January, the Mental Health programs of the Ministry of Health (MINSA) and of the Social Security Fund (CSS), together with PAHO/WHO, organized a workshop for trainers on tobacco use cessation skills. The purpose of the workshop was to train general practitioners, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses and social workers responsible for the cessation clinics that MINSA and CSS are establishing in the fourteen health regions of the country.

Smoking was approached as a public health problem. The subjects treated during the workshop were: the importance of tobacco dependency treatment within the framework of a comprehensive strategy to control consumption; nicotine as an addictive substance; the impact of tobacco use; and the benefits of quitting smoking as well as effective techniques to help patients quit.

The three-day workshop was run by Adriana Blanco, PAHO/WHO Regional Advisor on Tobacco Control. Participants are expected to train other professionals, mainly on the primary care level, in the use of effective techniques to promote the cessation of cigarette smoking.