Health office launches campaign vs tobacco-A A +A
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
IN AN effort to curb the tobacco consumption, the Department of Health launched Friday the nationwide dissemination of the National Tobacco Control Strategy (NTCS) through the local government units (LGU) at Dynasty Court Hotel.
Dr. Ivanhoe Escartin, director IV-OIC of NTCS-National Center for Health Promotion, said the NTCS program is the country’s first-ever comprehensive and coordinated approach against tobacco epidemic with clear and measurable targets to be achieved by 2016.
Escartin said the NTCS reflects the government’s political commitment to strengthen national capacities in addressing the rising incidence, developmental challenges and social and economic impact of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), as reflected in the United Nations Political Declaration on the Prevention and Control of NCDs.
He said this also moves for the complete implementation of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO-FCTC) to protect public health from the devastating effect of tobacco use.
Escartin said the NTCS should really be implemented, citing that in the country, two of the 10 leading causes of mortality are NCDs, of which the major causes identified are linked to common and preventable biological risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and major behavioral risk factors such as unhealthy diet and nutrition, physical inactivity, excessive alcohol drinking and tobacco use.
He stressed that tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death in the world today.
It is also the only legal consumer product that can harm everyone exposed to it and can kill up to half of those who use as intended.
“With the vision of a tobacco-free Philippines -- healthier people, communities and environments -- the NTCS builds on the premise that future generation of Filipinos will be given the right to live in a protected environment and communities free from the bondage of tobacco use and relieved from the socio-economic burden of tobacco-related diseases through well-planned and designed strategies,” he said.
Escartin said that the DOH will engage all relevant sectors of the government, civil society and non-government organizations to take action within their social, cultural, occupational and political networks and spheres of influence to come up with the Philippine NTCS 2011-2016.
He cited that the twin goals of the strategy are the attainment of the lowest possible prevalence of tobacco use and the highest level of protection from secondhand smoke.
With this, Escartin is encouraging local municipalities to participate and stand firm against tobacco use, banking on the Smoke-free Ordinance no. 724-2008.
The ordinance states that it shall be unlawful for any person to smoke or for a person in-charge to allow smoking in enclosed or partially closed public places and public facilities, all forms of public conveyances, workplaces and public outdoor spaces.
In its implementation, violators have corresponding penalties or will be sent to prison, if necessary, to ensure full implementation of the 100 percent smoke-free ordinance.
In Misamis Oriental, the town of Talisayan has been strictly implementing the “no-smoking policy” within the municipality. It is among the DOH Red Orchid awardees that stands firm against tobacco use.
Escartin announced the establishment of a National Tobacco Control Coordinating Office lodged under the National Center for Health Promotion to synchronize all tobacco control efforts of DOH as well as to enjoin other government and non-government organizations through the mobilization of Sector-Wide Anti-Tobacco (Swat) committees.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 07, 2012.