The World Lung Foundation and the Department of Health have launched the “Sponge” campaign against the use of tobacco products in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental recently.
The launching is intended to expand and strengthen the education and awareness campaign on the ill-effects of tobacco and secondhand smoking.
Five of Negros Oriental chief executives, who attended the launching, will implement the smoke-free ordinance in their localities.
They are Mayors Ernie Uy of Mabinay, Apollo Arnaiz of Pamplona, Edcel Enardecido, Ayungon; Enrique Gonzalez, Valencia; Santiago Sameon, Tayasan; and Kit Mark Adanza, Zamboaguita.
The mayors said they support the promotion and implementation of the anti-smoking campaign in the province, and will fully ban smoking in their areas even if this will cause negative reactions from their constituents who are smokers.
The Sponge campaign makes use of a sponge to illustrate how the lungs absorb the tar from smoking.
Provincial Health officer Felix Sy said smokers or those who are exposed to secondhand smoke may suffer respiratory diseases and cancer. He said that patients with smoke-related diseases have lungs that appear dark-colored instead of pinkish during x-rays.
Arnaiz, who admitted that he used to be a chain smoker, said he will convince tobacco farmers of Barangay Calicanan, Pamplona, to plant other high-value crops.
There are at least five hectares of tobacco farms in Pamplona town, whose produce are sold in the local market.*MA
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