THE Davao City Anti-Smoking Regulation Unit recorded 6,483 smoking apprehensions from April 12 to May 20. This developed as the unit intends to crack down soon on vape bars that have started to proliferate in the city.
Retired Captain Voltaire Engracia during the Pulong-Pulong ni Pulong media forum held Tuesday, May 23, at the Councilor’s Lounge said that the there is increased number of apprehensions in more than one month.
“That is barely one month so that is how we strongly apprehend. But there are still more, so my message is that: do not be negative on this because we are doing it gradually, and we understand that this is a health problem,” Engracia said.
Davao City Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte, who is also present in Tuesday’s forum, said that smoking cessation programs which is more on counseling is in place within the city.
Villafuerte said that the best way is always quitting “cold turkey”. This means stopping immediately, instead of just gradually reducing one's intake. The use of e-cigarettes is also discouraged as these still contain nicotine.
She said that there is still no Implementing Rules and Regulations yet of the recently signed Executive Order in the anti-smoking ban, but they are hopeful that the 15-year ordinance of the city will become the template of the IRR which hopefully will be released on the May 31st.
Engracia said that city ordinance 06-37 includes the prohibition of the e-cigarettes, especially in establishments. He said they are also ready to raid vaping bars that have proliferated within the city.
“Actually what happens to me nagbibigaysa akin ng information naganoon, I will inform the police and I will go there,” he said.
Engracia, aside from being in the Anti-Smoking Unit, he also currently sits as the vice chairman of the Vice regulation units which also apprehends not just cigarette but establishments selling liquor.
He believes that the participation of village officials for the implementation of the ordinance is the key for the proper execution. Engracia said that they have deputized barangay inspectors, and he makes sure that he can contact each personnel one by one. (KVC)
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on May 24, 2017.
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