ANTI-SMOKING advocates have lauded Education Secretary Leonor Briones for “diligently protecting the young learners from the evils of tobacco” amid the ongoing tobacco policies in the country.
“Comparing to a battlefield the obstinacy of the tobacco industry to continuously and sinfully peddle and sell their harmful and addictive products especially to young people for the sake of huge profits, Secretary Briones stated that she was thankful to be on the virtuous and moral side of those who fight for health, longevity, and future generations,” said the Philippine Smoke-Free Movement (PSFM).
During the recently-held conference on “Building and Celebrating Tobacco Control Champions: Promoting, Defending, and Institutionalizing Smoke-Free Environment Policies,” the movement cited Briones for pushing a “strong and comprehensive tobacco control policies” such as the smoke-free environments.
The event was also organized by Department of Health, Department of Education, Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development, Health Justice, and Social Watch of the Philippines.
“We are talking about the dreams of young people that can only be achieved if they grow up healthy and free from the harms of tobacco products,” Briones said during the online conference.
“We are in a very strategic time to have these legislative measures passed, especially now that we have a President who has repeatedly and publicly expressed support for tobacco control,” the secretary added.
Citing a report from the World Health Organization (WHO), PSFM said the youth “are being viciously targeted by the tobacco industry to be the main market or next generation of consumers.”
According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey, 21.5 percent of Filipino adults are exposed to secondhand smoke in indoor workplaces and 37.6 percent are exposed to public conveyances.
The survey also revealed that 54.2 percent of youth are exposed to secondhand smoke in enclosed spaces.
The health department and WHO have raised alarm over direct and indirect smokers, especially this pandemic, following some studies said that those with history of smoking have higher chances of contracting severe coronavirus disease (Covid-19) health repercussions. (SunStar Philippines)