Despite an aggressive region wide anti-smoking campaign, Davao City has seen an increase in the number of household smokers. Meaning, those individuals who avoid the smoking ban in public places and instead opt to just smoke at home — within their backyard.
“Our target is for the entire Davao Region to be 100% smoke free”, Rosemarie Basaῆes, Regional Tobacco Control and Prevention Program Manager of the Department of Health XI shared during the Usapang Kalusugan media forum on Monday, 20 May 2019 at the DOH Davao Center for Health Development office.
“The campaign is ongoing and we are happy that LGU’s, government offices, hospitals and others are partaking in the campaign”, Basaῆes added.
For its part, DOH XI has conducted a non-communicable survey since November of last year.
“We aim to target the decrease or even the elimination of smokers at home. This is also in line with our campaign to reduce second hand smoking”, she added.
Basaῆes cited Executive Order No. 26 which bans smoking in schools, workplaces, sidewalks and public vehicles. The law also prohibits selling of cigarettes to minors.
“The campaign against smoking in public has been successful. Now, we want to reduce household smokers too”, she said.
The EO, according to Basaῆes, is a milestone where the government gives priority to the right to protect public health.
Another strategy by the agency is the Red Orchid Award recognition program, a search among government hospitals, offices, and local government units (LGUs) that implement a 100-percent tobacco-free environment and meet the quality standards on tobacco prevention and control set by the World Health Organization (WHO).
In Davao region, there are 8 hall of famers attaining 100% smoke free municipalities and environment.
“It is not enough that the province or municipality is abiding by the rules and regulations set forth by the award body. They should also be ready with counsellors and smoking cessation clinics to be a Red Orchid Awardee”, Basaῆes explained.
Aside from the award, the agency also has strengthened their campaign in schools.
“Information dissemination forms a big part in our campaign so we do not stop”, Basaῆes said.