HealthJustice Philippines, a think tank and advocacy group with legal expertise in tobacco control and health promotion, congratulated Baguio City as its smoke-free ordinance was named “Ordinance of the Year” and one of its councilors, Joel Alangsab, was named “No Smoking Advocate of the Year” by local publication Baguio Midland Courier.
“We commend the government of Baguio City for its persistent effort to ensure a healthy and smoke-free environment for all its residents and visitors. Winning the ‘Ordinance of the Year’ and ‘No Smoking Advocate of the Year’ awards from the Baguio Midland Courier is an affirmation of the city’s commitment to uphold the people’s right to be protected from the dangers of cigarette smoke. Keep up the fantastic work,” said Mary Ann Fernandez Mendoza, President of HealthJustice.
Last year, Baguio City passed Ordinance 34-2017, which amended the smoke-free ordinance it passed in 2008.
Baguio City’s smoke-free Ordinance states: “It shall be unlawful for any person to smoke or allow smoking in public utility vehicles, government-owned vehicles or any other means of public transport for passengers, accommodation and entertainment establishments, public building, public place, enclosed public place, or any enclosed area outside of one’s private residence or private place of work, except in duly designated smoking areas.”
In November 2017, Baguio City launched the “Smoke-free Baguio” campaign, which aims to encourage its residents to adopt a tobacco-free lifestyle.
240 Filipinos die every day due to smoking-related diseases. According to the US Surgeon General, exposure to secondhand smoke increases a non-smoker’s chance of developing lung cancer by 20% to 30%.
“Now, Baguio City will be famous not just for its cool air, but also for its clean and smoke-free air. We encourage other cities across the Philippines to follow suit and also provide clean and smoke-free air for their residents and visitors,” Fernandez Mendoza added.
Baguio Midland Courier, a weekly newspaper, has been in circulation in the Ilocos and Cordillera regions for over 60 years. It was awarded Most Outstanding Provincial Newspaper by the Rotary Club of Manila in the years 1971-1972 and 1989-1990. It is also a recipient of various awards from the Philippine Press Institute such as the Best Edited Weekly Newspaper in the years 1997, 2014, 2015, and 2016; Best Editorial Page in the years 2002, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2015, and 2016; and Best in Business and Economic Reporting in the years 1997, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016, among others.
HealthJustice Philippines is a Bloomberg Awardee for Global Tobacco Control. It is a Programme Partner of the NCD Alliance, an international network of organizations, experts and advocates working to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases worldwide.
Download press release here.