September 26, 2022

Baguio City will host the 8th Asia Pacific Smoke-Free Meeting of the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) on Oct. 27 and 28 to be attended by more than 100 foreign and local delegates from countries in the Asia Pacific Region.

The regional meeting with the theme, “Rising amidst the challenges: Strengthening and sustaining smoke-free implementation” will be a venue for sharing of the best practices on smoke-free program implementation and enforcement as part of the comprehensive tobacco control and health promotion.

The conference also aims to teach the importance and the process of preparing an effective smoke-free enforcement mechanism and identify and respond to challenges in implementing policies and sustaining the smoke-free campaign with the emergence of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), heated tobacco products (HTPs) and others.

SEATCA Smoke-Free Program Manager and Smoke-Free Cities and Asia Pacific Network (SCAN) Asia Pacific Secretary General Dr. Domilyn Villarreiz told Mayor Benjamin Magalong that the city was chosen to host the conference because of its notable achievements in smoke-free endeavors and other aspects that make the city livable and healthy.

She said the participants will be governors, mayors, smoke-free focal persons, tobacco control advocates and representatives of civil society organizations from different cities and countries in the Asia Pacific, most of whom are members of the SCAN.

This is the fourth time that the regional meeting will be held in the country. The first three were held in Davao City in 2013, Balanga City in 2014 and Iloilo City in 2015. SEATCA is a multi-sectoral non-governmental alliance promoting health and saving lives by assisting ASEAN countries to accelerate and effectively implement tobacco control measures contained in the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control which aims to protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke. – Aileen P. Refuerzo