LGUs asked to keep youth off smoking

Anti-smoking advocates including city and municipal officials appealed to the country’s local government unit (LGU) leaders to take a more active and direct role in protecting children against the health hazards of cigarette smoking.

Emer Rojas, president of the New Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP), stressed the need for the LGUs to be at the forefront of the fight versus smoking if they are to protect the youth from being “replacement smokers.”

“It is the inherent responsibility of government to promote public health and nothing is more important than protecting the youth against the preventable diseases caused by smoking,” said Rojas.

In Quezon City, Councilor Victor Ferrer Jr. pushed for a massive information drive on the health risks of cigarette smoking.

He said parents must be the main recipients of the campaign against cigarette smoking to ensure that their children do not eventually acquire the deadly habit.

Ferrer, together with Councilors Jesus Manuel Suntay, Allan Benedict Reyes, Eufemio Lagumbay, Ranulfo Ludovica and Jaime Borres hopes to launch a massive anti-smoking drive in the hope of reducing cigarette smoking among the youth and their parents to tolerable levels.

Section 16 of the Local Government Code provides that every local government unit shall exercise the power to promote the general welfare of the people, such as concerning their health and safety.

One way to protect the youth, Rojas said, is by ensuring that there are no tobacco products being sold near school campuses.

“The law prohibits selling of tobacco products within the school’s vicinity. This must be strictly enforced if they are to prevent students from smoking,” said Rojas.

In addition, Rojas pointed the significance of LGUs banning tobacco advertising and promotions in stores near schools.
Read more at http://www.mb.com.ph/lgus-asked-to-keep-youth-off-smoking/#Gl3e6h7c3qOtHtYh.99