BAGUIO CITY – More women in the city are smokers compared to their male counterparts based on a recent study conducted by the City Health Services office (CHSO).
Dra. Donnabel Tubera, CHSO Tobacco Control Officer, said of the 34% of local residents who are smokers, 35.8% are women while only 32.1% are men; 31.8% were found to smoke daily, wherein 33.3% are women while 30.3% are men.
Tubera revealed that 30.5% of the smokers attempted to quit smoking in the past 12 months wherein 31.7% were men and 29.4% were women; 55.3% of the smokers have plans of quitting smoking wherein 57.3% are men and 50.9% are women and only 7% of the smokers were given advice to quit by a health care provider in the past 12 months wherein 9.3% are women and 4.5% are men.
When asked on their exposure to second-hand smoke, the CHSO official claimed 3.6% were exposed to smoke in government buildings, 1.6% in health care facilities, 15.2% in restaurants and 10.3% in public transportation.
On the presence of cigarette marking, she disclosed 45.2% of those surveyed found the advertisements in stores where cigarettes are sold, 37.7% witnessed the cigarette advertisements in television, 36.2% heard the advertisements on radio, 27.3% of the respondents saw the advertisements on billboards, 36.9% saw the advertisements on posters, 28.5% on newspapers and magazines, 18.4% on cinemas, 30.7% on the internet, 30.6% on public transportation, 25.7% on public walls and 30.3% saw the advertisements somewhere else.
According to her, 90.2% of those surveyed were able to find counter-advertising on newspapers, 86.8% on television, 81.1% on radio, 71.1% on billboards and 62.2% found counter-advertising somewhere else.
More importantly, Tubera noted that 96% of those surveyed believe that smoking causes serious illness considering that the top 4 causes of deaths in the city which are stroke, heart disease, cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are all related to smoking.
Further, she claimed 89.1% of the respondents were able to purchase their cigarettes in sari-sari stores, 0.6% bought their cigarettes in vending machines and 0.5% bought their cigarettes in other establishments.
Ironically, Tubera said the 34% of smokers recorded in the city is much higher compared to the national average, thus, the need for concerned stakeholders to increase the awareness of the public on the dangers of smoking for them to contribute in achieving a smoke-free Baguio in the future.
She expressed confidence that the results of the survey will significantly improve when the CHSO will conduct a similar survey next year, following the aggressive implementation of the provisions of Ordinance No. 034, series of 2017 or the Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance of Baguio City.
By Dexter A. See