Youth group advocates for tobacco-free communities

TACLOBAN CITY, June 28 (PIA) -- In consonance with the celebration of World No-Tobacco Month this June, a group of youth named Smoke-free Squad, in cooperation with the Regional Anti-Tobacco Network composed of representatives from the national government agencies, local government units and other stakeholders, strengthened the advocacy campaign for tobacco-free communities.

Among the activities conducted relative to the celebration were series of fora, the first of which was held on May 31, the kick-off for the month-long celebration attended by the members of the tobacco network of which topics discussed include smoking laws and hazards, among others.

During the second forum held recently at the Leyte National High School in this city, Leyte Team Leader for Anti-tobacco Campaign Rina Reyes said they are serious in this campaign to have a tobacoo-free environment.

“We want to be healthy especially our children, for them to have a good future. We are a civil society organization ready to help disseminate knowledge at the community level on the ills of smoking,” she said.

Reyes said they are conducting fora  in different areas as part of the project implementation as she believes that the success in implementing the anti-smoking laws lies in the hands of partner agencies particularly the local government units.

“During the activities, we also involve the Civil Service Commission and the Department of Health so as to further emphasize accompanying rules relative to the campaign, and likewise include some testimonies of students and parents,” Reyes added.

The anti-smoking fora were conducted in efforts to secure the commitments of partner agencies particularly the local legislators in ensuring the implementation not only of the program but the tobacco control laws as well.

The Rural Poor Institute for Land and Human Rights Services Incorporated or RIGHTS, a non-government organization that centers on land rights, also embraces the anti-tobacco campaign through the efforts of the youth. (LDL/GTT/PIA-8, Leyte)

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