Negros Oriental intensifies no-smoking drive
Dumaguete City (18 June) -- The Provincial Health Office (PHO) has stepped up its anti-smoking advocacy through media mobilization as tobacco epidemic has reached its critical level even here in Negros Oriental.
This was raised by Assistant Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Edgardo Barredo as he said, "the results has consistently shown that the diseases on the rise now are those caused and aggravated by smoking such as cancer, heart disease, pneumonia, among others."
With this, the health department needs some assistance in the information dissemination on the ill effects of smoking and the important provisions on Tobacco Regulations Act of 2003 (RA 9211) which the public should know, Dr. Barredo said.
While the municipality of Amlan was first in the region to pass an ordinance prohibits smoking in public places last year, but in a survey conducted in the town it has shown that the youngest smoker was 7 years old and the average person smoking is unemployed and smokes on a daily average of sticks.
This, Dr. Barredo expressed apprehension this can be a reflection of the state of tobacco use and values of the people in the province disregarding the health hazard and if this is not addressed properly children are endangered their health conditions. Hence, local health official calls for sincere implementation of tobacco control laws and non-smoking ordinance in the cities and municipalities.
This June, the Department of Health (DOH) observes the "No Smoking Month", a fitting occasion to intensify the information drive to highlight the celebration.
Meantime, the DOH-7 official urged the Dep Ed-7 to add a subject on anti-smoking as part of the curriculum. Apart from teaching about the dangers of smoking, it is imperative that teachers should also discuss the hazards of second-hand smoke, it was emphasized.
The school management should advocate for a smoke-free institution and stressed that a Civil Service Commission Memorandum Circular strictly banned smoking in schools, churches and hospitals, the local health official said.
The DOH-7 is now lobbying to local government executives (LCEs) to implement an anti-smoking ordinance in their respective localities. (PIA/JCT) [top]