BAGUIO CITY – Dr. Nelson Hora presented a recent study from the City Health Service Office (CHSO) showing a downtrend for smokers in the use of tobacco, from 35.4% back in 2014 down to 13.1% in 2022 during the Ugnayang Panlungsod held recently. However, data also shows the uptrend of e-cigarettes from 1.5% in 2019 to 5.1% in 2022. This concludes the shift of smokers from tobacco to the e-cigarette.
Because of the emergence of new technology, and the stricter rules implemented in using tobacco, some manufacturing companies are looking for alternative products that they can offer to their consumers. E-cigarettes, also known as Vape, became popular in 2019 especially for 15-24 years old smokers.
The respondents of the survey were 15 years old and above who had been residing in Baguio City for at least 6 months. Most of the respondents came from the working-age population from ages 25-44 years old. They used Systematic Random Sampling as a methodology for the survey to establish reliability.
The survey was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) that was implemented in the City involving the same barangays as the primary respondents for the years of 2014, 2016, 2019, and 2022. The objective of this survey is to systematically and objectively monitor tobacco being used. According to Dr. Hora, having almost the same respondents made the survey more accurate and reliable.
One of the objectives of the Smoke-Free ordinance is to protect non-smokers from second hand smoking. The data also shows a significant decrease in secondhand smoke in Baguio City according to locations. In 2014, the restaurants recorded the most number of second-hand smokers at 31.2%, and this dropped drastically in 2022 to 6. 7%.
Unlike what most manufacturers are advertising, Dr. Donnabel Panes clarified that vape is not actually a water vapor but a nicotine delivery device. “Apparently (the vape manufacturers) are claiming that (vape) are non-nicotine but actually they are nicotine devices”. She also advised the public to undergo smoke cessation counseling offered in the CHSO.
Darryl Longid persuaded the public not to patronize e-cigarettes or vaping, as smoking is not safer than tobacco. Hora also explained to the public that refraining from tobacco can help an individual prevent non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as tobacco contributes as a major risk factor for NCDs. He also added that their next campaign will target a smoke-free home to reduce the number of second-hand smokers. By Nicko Gatchalian