AT LEAST 35.8 percent of smokers in Baguio City are women.
According to a 2016 study by the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), 34 percent of every 100 individuals in the city are said to be smokers which is way above the national average of 23 percent.
The number of women smokers in the city continue to rise, from the 20.4 percent recorded in 2014.
The study also revealed age of smokers have dropped between 12 to 18 years old wherein 31 percent had easy access to cigarettes being sold in sari-sari stores.
Forty-nine 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 store keepers when they bought cigarettes.
Dr. Donnabell Tubera of the Baguio Health Department hopes the No Smoking Ordinance in the city would help decrease the number of smokers in the city.
“We are regulating ang paggamit ng cigarettes and e-cigarrettes. Ang ginagawa namin ay pinapasikip lang natin ang mundo ng mga smokers,” Dr. Tubera said.
Under the No Smoking Ordinance, the use, sale, distribution, and advertisement of cigarettes and other tobacco products are banned in certain places which aims to safeguard public health and ensure the wellbeing of its citizens from the harmful effects of smoking and tobacco.
Tubera added smoking does not only harm the smoker but it harms those who are exposed to tobacco smoke.
The city health official said aside from smokers, secondhand smokers are exposed to the dangers of cigarette and tobacco smoke as 15 percent of tobacco smoke exposure comes from restaurants while 10.3 percent of adults are exposed to tobacco smoke exposure in public transportation.
Violators of the ordinance will be fined P1,000 for the first offense, P2,000 for the second offense and P3,000.00 for the third offence.
Subsequent offences would be imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months. (Louie Anne Mapa/UC Intern)