BAGUIO CITY— City officials led by Mayor Mauricio Domogan on Monday led the launching of “Smoke-Free Baguio” — a massive campaign encouraging residents to shy away from cigarette smoking.
Domogan said the city government is serious in its campaign against smoking and mustering public support.
“Let us start within ourselves,” he said. “To you the smokers, you do not only cause health problems to yourselves and your neighbors but also makes wastes with your cigarette butts on the streets that need to be cleaned.”
He said some past city officials, who have “gone ahead” due to illnesses related to smoking, were either smokers or had family members who smoke.
He said that he wants the campaign to start from the city government, making the city offices totally smoke-free.
The city government has passed Ordinance 34-2017 amending an earlier city ordinance passed in 2008 and localizing the national anti-smoking law.
The launching is also in support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order providing for the establishment of smoke-free environment in public and enclosed places.
Councilor Joel Alangsab, who co-chairs the Committee on Health with Councilor Elaine Sembrano, said it had been proven that smoking kills not only the smokers but also those who inhale second hand smoke.
The councilors relayed the City Health Office’s seriousness in implementing the anti-smoking law ncluding the related guidelines if only to make sure that the city will attain its goal to make Baguio a 100-percent smoke free city.
Alangsab added that after Monday’s launching, a series of activities will be held to increase public awareness on the ill-effects of tobacco use.
Spearheaded by the Smoke Free Baguio Task Force, chaired by the mayor and the Health Services Office (HSO), the activities will include a fun run on November 19 in coordination with the City Sports Office.
Murals painted by Baguio City High School students near the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center and along Bokawkan Road will be unveiled to the public on November 20 while a press conference, information and education campaign and smoke cessation clinic will be conducted at Malcolm Square on November 23.
A Zumba session will also be held at Burnham Park on November 25.
Earlier, the HSO and World Health Organization held a two-day training for barangay officials who will be deputized to assist in the implementation of the Smoke Free Baguio Ordinance.
At the central business district, establishments have started to remove their smoking areas.
Public places including parks have also been declared smoke-free.