More than 1,000 smokers kick the habit – health office

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

MORE Than 1,000 smokers in Iloilo City quit smoking after receiving brief tobacco interventions (BTI) by the City Health office (CHO).

Dr. Bernard Caspe, CHO chief, said 4,443 smokers underwent BTI offered by the Cessation Clinic at the City Hall and District Health Centers in Iloilo City.

“Out of the 4, 443 smokers, 1,408 quit smoking. Only 384 went back to their habits,” he said.

According to Caspe, smokers who go through the cessation clinics are given consultations and counselling, particularly on the disadvantages and ill effects of smoking.

“During our counselling, we always emphasize to the smokers that if you want to quit smoking, you should have a big will power. The friends and the family of the smokers also play a crucial role in helping the smokers quit their unhealthy lifestyle,” he said.

The cessation services are part of the initiatives of the city on tobacco control.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific Region has recently recognized Iloilo City as one of the five recipients of their World No Tobacco Day Awards for its outstanding work in tobacco control.

Iloilo City, which was the only local government unit (LGU) in the country to receive the award, was recognized for its cessation services.

“The Iloilo City Government recently ran an intensive campaign encouraging smokers to quit with the help of the city’s Quitline and cessation services at health centers. The government prohibits the sale of tobacco products to minors as well as near schools and other places frequented by minors. It has also enacted bans on vaping and shisha and on establishing designated smoking areas,” WHO said in its official press release.