Philippines: June is National No Smoking Month

9 June 2018:

PAGADIAN CITY,  June 8 – – The celebration of World No Tobacco Day on May 31 ushered in the observance of June as National No Smoking Month in the Philippines.

With the aim to raise public awareness on the ill effects of smoking as well as to encourage smokers to give up the habit, Presidential Proclamation No. 183 s.  1993 signed by then President Fidel V. Ramos declared the month of June of every year as National No Smoking Month in the country.

Adopting this year’s theme from the World Health Organization (WHO), “Tobacco Breaks Hearts,” the health department advocates the devastating effects that tobacco use and exposure from secondhand smoke do to heart health.

Globally, tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke contribute to approximately 12 percent of all heart disease deaths, as data from WHO showed.

In the Philippines, ischemic heart diseases or the “hardening of arteries” continue to be the leading cause of death with more than 74,000 cases recorded in 2016.

Moreover, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) listed five other non-communicable diseases linked to smoking as top causes of death and diseases among Filipinos namely, cancer, stroke, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and other heart diseases. These are known to be strongly linked to four risk factors, one of which is tobacco use.

Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III, reiterates that tobacco use and breathing secondhand smoke may indeed break your heart. You may have heard this a million times, ‘smoking is dangerous to your health,’ but we still want to remind  you every time we have a chance,’ Duque said.

“Tobacco smoke thickens the blood, increases the risk of blood clot, narrows the arteries and restricts oxygen in the blood,” Duque emphasized. The health chief continued to encourage the youth to make informed decision and keep away from initiating tobacco use.

“We call upon our youth to make informed decisions and make smart use of technology. With abundance of information available in the web, we hope everyone gets the right content from credible sources,” Duque said.

“You may visit the DOH or WHO website and Facebook pages and see for yourself the truth about tobacco products. In the age of misinformation, it’s time to be more mindful about what we get and where we get our facts,” he added.

According to the Tobacco Free Initiative’s  Factsheet about health benefits of smoking cessation when an individual quits smoking, within 20 minutes, his heart rate and blood pressure drops. Within 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in the blood drops to normal and within a year, if the smoker ceases to use tobacco, his risk of coronary heart diseases reduces to about half compared to a current smoker. In 5 years, stroke risk is reduced to that of non-smoker. (CAL/DOH Press Release)

Source: Philippines Information Agency