World Day Without Tobacco Events from Vallarta's Juvenile Integration Center

Psychologist Beatriz Barron Hernandez - Juvenile Integration Center
June 5, 2015

In efforts to strengthen prevention and treatment of smoking, key activities took place in Puerto Vallarta to commemorate World No Tobacco Day in conjunction with our Juvenile Integration Center (CIJ).

The World Day Without Tobacco was established in 1988 by the World Health Organization.

According to data obtained from patients in 2014 in youth integration centers, a consumer of tobacco can spend up to 23 years before asking for medical help that allows them to overcome the addiction to nicotine. This time is reduced to eight years when in addition the person consumed any illicit drugs, but in this case, the request for attention is caused by the related problems of illegal substance more than the desire to give up tobacco.

The period in which people who smoke seek medical help leads to multiple complications to health because smoking is an important risk factor for the development of different types of cancer, including lung, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), as well as infarction to heart and stroke, among other diseases. Consumption during pregnancy is associated with, in addition, an increased risk of miscarriage, low weight of the newborn and, even, the sudden death of the same.

In 2014, youth integration centers provided, at the national level, medical advice to more than 43 thousand people for problems related to tobacco use; 3,200 were treated to quit smoking (2,100 men and 1,100 women); and more than a 1,800 received drug treatment. In addition, 2,200 tests of lung function and 600 studies of detection of carbon monoxide in the breath were performed. 65 percent of the patients reported to have not smoked after the end of treatment.

With over 46 years experience in prevention, treatment, addictions research and the training of human resources in the field, CIJ offers specialized care to prevent consumption and, where appropriate, to address cases of smoking. From early childhood, CIJ seeks to explain to the children the risks linked to the use of the substance and the development of skills for coping with risks; This prevents students to do some critical thinking before using tobacco, allowing teens and young people to resist the influence and peer pressure, as well as to develop attitudes of rejection before consumption and smoking tobacco.

In addition, CIJ operates 116 units in the country, working closely with patients and their families, to promote the concept of "100% smoke-free space" of public buildings to households, with the aim of avoiding that non-smokers, particularly children, suffer from health problems from "second-hand smoke."

All the CIJs have a clinic to stop smoking, where an initial assessment of persons is made to subsequently provide them with medical, pharmacological and psychological treatment, and, finally, be tracked to help prevent relapse. Complementarily, it boasts 12 mobile units that offer care at seminars and health fairs held in government agencies, companies, unions and schools.

Throughout the month of May, both medical staff and volunteers of the CIJ Puerto Vallarta carried out various activities aimed toward young people to identify and to become aware of the damage that tobacco produces. In this way, lectures were offered to students from the following schools, of which the last three participated as members of the REUNA Convention (National Network of Universities Against Addictions):

• Primary school Vicente Guerrero. Col. Benito Juarez
• Colegio Mexico American
• Secondary technique N ° 66 Amado Nervo T/V. Valle Dorado, Bahia De Banderas
• Secondary General foreign N ° 49Las together
• Secondary General N ° 60 T/V. Valle Dorado, Bahia De Banderas
• Instituto Tecnológico Superior De Puerto Vallarta (TEC)
• British American School
• CBTis N ° 68

With open population, informative talks were given by mothers of the families at Grupo Prospera in the Col. Progreso and for persons of UMF No. 179 of IMSS for boys and girls in the Col. Mojoneras.

In addition...

• On 25 May, a "Health Fair" was held in coordination with CAPA, CISAME and Ministry of Health on the premises of CBTis N ° 68.
• On 27 May, a contest of slogans alluding to World No Tobacco Day was held in the Puerto Vallarta prison with inmates of the therapeutic community.
• On 28 and 29 May, in addition to informative talks, painting in manta and mural took place with students from the CECYTEJ.
• On 29 May 29, a promotion was held for the Tobacco Prevention Clinic.

Also, UNIVA provided active participation (as a member of REUNA), and carried out various activities during the month of May under the direction of volunteer teacher Julian Barraza, such as: conferences, placement of posters, rally, exhibition of video and photography with images discouraging tobacco use, as well as a walk titled Neon, "jogging or walking with a cause" which was carried out on  Friday, 29 May in the the Hotel Zone, where they included as a preventive strategy a "sweets exchange" for cigarettes.

With all the activities, we managed to reach a total of 2,759 people and we infinitely appreciate all the support of everybody involved in making this a successful endeavor.

Psic. Ma. Beatriz Barron Hernandez
Director CIJ Puerto Vallarta

Translated and edited by Team Angels

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