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PIA Press Release

WHO, DOH bestow Red Orchid Award to smoke-free compliant hospitals, LGUs

by Thelma c. Bicarme

Tuguegarao City (2 June) -- The Department of Health- Center for Health and Development (DOH-CHD 2) along with some local government units and hospitals in the region recently received Red Orchid Award from the World Health Organization and the Department of Health.

The Southern Isabela General Hopital (SIGH) in Santiago City, Tuguegarao City Health Office and the municipality of Solano were also chosen for their efforts in implementing a 100 percent Smoke-free environment in support to the MPOWER policies of the World Health Organization.

MPOWER stands for Monitoring of tobacco use and prevention policies; Protection of the people from the effects of smoking; Offer to help quit tobacco use; Warning about the dangers of tobacco; Enforcement/bans on tobacco advertising promo and sponsorship; and Raise taxes on tobacco.

Floro Orata, Health education Promotions Officer of the DOH 2 said the Red Orchid Award is one of the many highlights of the World No Tobacco Day celebration today, May 31, 2010.

Orata said their office will be spearheading a regional celebration to advocate the programs and projects of all the hospitals and LGU's to attain a 100% smoke-free Cagayan Valley.

The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2010 is "Gender and Tobacco," with an emphasis on marketing to women.

Based on the fact sheet issued by WHO, advertisements falsely link tobacco use with female beauty, empowerment and health. They lure women with misleading identifiers as "lite/light" or "low-tar".

A higher proportion of women than men smoke "lite/light" cigarettes, often in the mistaken belief that "lite/light" means "safer".

The tobacco industry dupes many women into believing that smoking is a sign of liberation, and many women wrongly view smoking as a good way of keeping slim.

The WHO fact sheet likewise pointed out that women comprise 20% of the world's one billion smokers. Of the more than 5 million people who die each year from tobacco use, approximately 1.5 million are women.

It further stated that many women do not know about the harm done by second hand smoke, or feel as if they have no right to complain.

Second hand smoke is a major health risk for women at home and in the workplace. (PIA 2) [top]

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