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Friday, July 19, 2024

Taguig City government clamps down on smoking, vapes

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The Taguig City government is implementing stricter regulations to curb smoking and vaping, particularly among the youth, through continuous enforcement and educational initiatives.

On Wednesday, Mayor Laarni Cayetano led the destruction of confiscated cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, and vapes, symbolizing the city’s commitment to a smoke-free environment.

The destruction was part of the celebration of World No Tobacco Day and National No Smoking Month held at the Lakeshore Hall in Barangay Lower Bicutan where members of the Taguig Smoke-Free Task Force, representatives from the City Health Office, youth sector, and vape business owners gathered. 

With the theme “Protecting Children from Tobacco Industry Interference”, the event aims to strengthen the city’s tobacco control program under its Transformative, Lively, and Caring City agenda. 

The celebration adopted a multi-sectoral approach to achieving a smoke-free Taguig where CHO conducted lectures on Taguig’s tobacco control program, TB program, lifestyle-related diseases, and mental health. These lectures tackled the adverse effects of tobacco and vape consumption and highlighted the overall benefits to health and well-being of not engaging in or quitting these products. 

Additionally, booths were set up to provide health screenings, X-rays, and information on mental health and adolescent programs.

Mayor Cayetano underscored the crucial role of all stakeholders, especially the youth in supporting the tobacco control program.

“Young people are much cooler when exposed to good and positive influences, things that will improve their mental health and overall health,” she said.

From the program enforcement side, lawyer Gregorio Cabanting, Chairman of Taguig’s Smoke-Free Task Force, explained that their goal is to achieve a smoke-free and vape-free Taguig. 

He added that public places such as parks, children’s playgrounds, all national and local government facilities, all public vehicles and their passenger terminals, all commercial establishments, schools and universities, and medical facilities are all designated as smoke-free and vape-free areas

Antonio Malabanan, a youth sector participant from Barangay Katuparan, said the benefits of the tobacco control program for the youth. He debunked the youth’s misconception about consuming cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and vaping and discussed how to reduce adult influences that lead to tobacco use.

On the other hand, AJ Alicando, a vape business owner participant from Barangay Central Bicutan, stated that the tobacco control program and its implementation will ensure smoke-free public places in Taguig by discouraging smoking in those areas. 

The local government earlier ordered the closure of four more vape shops for violating the city’s smoke-free ordinance.

The city’s Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO) padlocked the establishments namely — Two Smoking Joint in Barangay Pitogo, Vape Stopp in Barangay Comembo, Junnie Boi in Barangay Fort Bonifacio, and Vir Vape Shop in Barangay Pembo. 

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