LA TRINIDAD, Benguet (PIA) -- Health experts are pushing for a whole of society and whole of nation approach in the campaign for a smoke-free, momma-free, and vape-free community.
During the Kapihan sa Benguet: Smoke-free Benguet Press Conference in May 11, Dr. Andrew Chamson Bacuso, Public Health Programs head of the Provincial Health Office, said that making the province smoke-free and betel quid-free is not a sole responsibility of the health sector.
There are many reasons why people smoke and chew momma that is why there is a need to strengthen the campaign against these, which must focus on changing the behavior of those who are smoking, Bacuso stated.
"Hindi lang siya IEC (information education campaign) but Social and Behavioral Change Communication. Ang inaatake natin ngayon dito is the behavior itself, the smoking ... Alam ng tao na masama mag-smoke, masama mag-momma pero why are they still continuing the practice?"
Meanwhile, Provincial Governor's Office Executive Assistant Dr. Ryan Guinaran stressed that smoking is a deadly vice and it must be stopped.
He mentioned that based on data, the eight leading causes of death in the province are heart disease, pneumonia, respiratory disease, high blood, stroke, diabetes, hypertensive cardiovascular disease, and respiratory distress syndrome wherein all of these are connected to smoking.
"Smoking is the single most preventable na leading cause of death. You smoke a stick, it means that you are hammering a nail onto your coffin several years later. Kasla nga suicide daytoy ... agsu-suicide ka over time," he stated.
He emphasized that there is a need to address some issues on knowledge practice gap and policy implementation gap.
"Ammu tayo nga madi iti salun-at tayo dagitoy nga bisyo mgem ar-aramiden tayo pay laeng ... Addan ti polisiya ngem haan nga maim-implementar nga usto. The call just like any successful program ti gobyerno ... should be a whole of society and whole of nation approach," he said.
NCD Cluster Head Dr. Gayle Contero also encouraged those chewing betel quidis to better stop because its harmful effects outweigh the benefits.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Nora Ruiz said that they will push for the passing of another ordinance at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to further strengthen the campaign for a smoke-free, momma-free, and vape-free province of Benguet. (JDP/DEG-PIA CAR)