April 22, 2024

The Baguio City Health Services Office has warned the public, especially parents, about the reported sale of candies that resemble and packed like cigarettes and asked to report to authorities if they see such products being sold in their areas.
The CHSO in its social media account made the warning as it took notice of a photo in Bauko, Mountain Province posted in the social media showing candies shaped like cigarettes with packaging imitating brands of tobacco companies.
These were confiscated by concerned teachers from Guinzadan Elementary School after pupils reportedly purchased such products in stores. The post, however, can no longer be accessed as of Sept. 22.
While it has been removed, Dr. Donnabel Tubera-Panes, the city’s tobacco control coordinator, considers the post as an eye-opener for families who should increase their vigilance about methods used by tobacco firms to introduce cigarettes to the young ones and entice them to smoke.
She called on parents to be vigilant on what their children purchase and warn them not to buy such products.
Panes said it also serves as a call and challenge for other local government units to acknowledge that this occurrence needs to be addressed through legislations to protect children from the harmful effects of smoking and promoting smoke-free and healthy communities.
Baguio passed Ordinance 34, s. 2017, which bans, among others, “selling or distributing sweets, snacks, toys, or any other objects in the form of tobacco products which may appeal to minors.”
“These products are designed to entice children to buy and mimic smoking cigarettes. Children may fall victim to a life-long addiction if such products continue to circulate the market,” Panes said.
During the height of Covid-19 cases in the city, respiratory conditions suffered by smokers are one of the leading comorbidities they have detected.
“This is not the new normal that we want for the new generation after we overcome the pandemic. This product kills at an early age, that is why in other countries, they have increased the age of those who can access cigarettes to 27 years old,” Panes said.
She added the CHSO will be willing to share the city’s ordinance to LGUs willing to craft legislations that will suit their culture and locality.
The CHSO asked the public to report to local health authorities through the Smoke-Free Baguio City task force if they see establishments in Baguio selling such products. – Hanna C. Lacsamana