At least 321 Filipinos die every single day due to cigar-related diseases, according to the Lung Center of the Philippines.
According to Dr. Glynna Ong-Cabrera, LCP’s smoking cessation program manager and Department of Health’s Quitline project director, to quit smoking is not just a matter of personal responsibility.
“Every day, 321 Filipinos die because tobacco companies continue to sell and market their addictive and deadly products,” she said.
“Tobacco products are designed to make it difficult for smokers to quit, putting them at risk to develop tobacco-related diseases which may eventually lead to death,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health, in collaboration with Viral Strategies, and Smokefree Philippines, on Tuesday launched a campaign rallying for smoke-free beaches, parks, and tourist destinations in Boracay Island and Aklan.
The campaign will have an eight-month duration starting May 31, coinciding with the celebration of “World No Tobacco Day.”
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, for its part, commended local government units in the National Capital Region for organizing activities in line with the “World No Tobacco Day” event.
The Lung Center of the Philippines initiated an art installation of 321 pairs of shoes and slippers at its main lobby to mark the 321 Filipinos who die every day due to tobacco.
“We need an ecosystem of policies that will make it easier for Filipinos to quit the deadly habit of smoking,” Dr. Jessica Catalan-Legarda, the hospital’s advocacy chairperson, said.
“Tobacco control saves lives,” she added.
According to the World Health Organization, more than eight million tobacco-related deaths are reported every year, making tobacco still one of the leading causes of deaths worldwide.