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Monday, September 16, 2019

City council urged to hasten passage of anti-tobacco law

DUE TO the high rate of tobacco use in Baguio City, the City Health Services Office is challenging the City Council to pass a Comprehensive Tobacco Control Ordinance.

Dr. Donnabel Tubera of the City Health Services Office said it is now time to make an ordinance enforceable and effective since the top five common causes of death in Baguio City are related to tobacco use.

“We really challenge the City Council to pass the Comprehensive Tobacco Control Ordinance in Baguio. We really need to protect the future of our city, not only the life but also the environment,” Tubera said.

The health official said some of the leading causes of deaths in the city based are heart attack, cancer, tuberculosis, stroke and pneumonia which are all tobacco related.

Tubera said the prevalence rate in Baguio City of Tobacco use is about 40 percent as comaprfed to the national level which is only 28 percent.

“Mas mataas dito and it is alarming. Ang pinaka-alarming ay we are the center of educational system, dito pumupunta ang mga kabataan na galing baba para mag-aral at doon nila natututunan ang mga bisyong ito outside of their home. It is proper to push for the proposed comprehensive ordinance in Baguio,” added Tubera.

Tubera added it would be better if the proposed ordinance, which is now on its second reading, will be approved before President Rodrigo Duterte signs the executive order against smoking in country.

The health official admitted while there is an existing anti-smoking ordinance in the city, the law does not cover all tobacco related activities and lax enforcement.

In the proposed ordinance authored by Councilor Joel Alangsab, it also includes tobacco advertising and promotion and other forms of smoking materials. A citizen’s arrest is also included in the provision unlike in the existing anti smoking law.

The city health office in coordination with the School of Medicine of Saint Louis University is now conducting studies regarding the effects of tobacco use in Baguio City.
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