BAGUIO CITY – The City Health Services Office is alarmed over the increasing number of women who smoke based on a study conducted to ascertain the level of smoking among residents in the city.
Dra. Donabel Tubera, CHSO medical officer, said based on the study, 34 percent of every 100 individuals in the city are smokers, way above the national average of 23 percent.
Since 2014, Tubera revealed there had been a drastic increase in the number of smokers in the city, especially among women, thus, the enactment of the city’s comprehensive anti-smoking ordinance will definitely help reduce the percentage of smokers in the city in the coming years.
In 2014, the rate of smokers among women was pegged at 20 percent before its drastic increase to 33 percent in 2015 and 35 percent in 2016 for women aged 15 years old and above.
Another alarming data from the survey is the prevalence of smokers among the youth aged 12 to 18 wherein 31 percent had easy access to cigarettes being sold in sari-sari stores.
Tubera disclosed 49 percent of the youth who were considered as smokers were able to access cigarettes from sari-sari stores while 28 percent of them claimed they were not resisted by storekeepers when they bought cigarettes from them.
According to her, stopping smoking for a day will improve a person’s heart rate, stopping smoking for a year will reduce the chances of persons in suffering from hypertension, stopping smoking for five years will reduce the chances of persons suffering from stroke by 50 percent and stopping smoking for 10 years will reduce the chances of persons from suffering from cancer by 50 percent.
Tubera called on residents and visitors to strictly adhere to the city’s anti-smoking policy to help curb the possibility of smokers from contracting dreaded illnesses and to help in the efforts of the local government to clean the city’s air from pollutants.
As the city’s anti-smoking ordinance took effect last May 30, 2017, Tubera revealed concerned departments of the local government are conducting a massive information education campaign to inform residents and visitors to make them fully aware of the penalties imposed against owners of establishments selling cigarettes to the public and for smokers to to make them aware of the violations and penalties when apprehended.
The medical officer underscored the public plays an important role in the successful implementation of the city’s anti-smoking ordinance to make sure that owners of business establishments selling cigarettes and smokers will be imposed the appropriate penalties and for smokers to start quitting smoking to improve their health condition.
She claimed designated smoking areas must always be located in open air and in compliance with existing rules and regulations, thus, indoor smoking areas should already be removed.
By Dexter A. See