ILOILO CITY – An incentive awaits smokers and vapers from Western Visayas who decide to quit and embrace a healthy lifestyle through the "quit and win" tobacco cessation contest of the Department of Health (DOH) in partnership with the Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Philippines and the Lung Cancer of the Philippines (LCP).
In a press conference on Tuesday, the organizers presented the “Stop and Gain" quit and win tobacco cessation contest and encouraged those who have stopped smoking or using electronic smoking devices in the region to participate.
ASH executive director Dr. Maricar Limpin said they hope to surpass the number in the National Capital Region (NCR) where around 200 registered within a week since the enlistment started early last month.
Limpin said Western Visayas has the most number of smoking cessation programs.
The contest is open to those who have quit or will quit smoking or vaping from July 2022 until the end of the registration on Oct. 31. They can register online by accessing the official ASH Facebook page – ASHPhilippines2016.
All entries will be verified and validated by cessation clinics in areas where the entries came from.
Winners will be picked through a raffle where winners will have a chance to win cash prizes.
“We are just trying to get really, bigyan ng additional incentive ang mga nakahinto na bukod duon sa magandang buhay na na-achieve nila (We are just trying to really give additional incentive to those who stopped other than the good quality of life they have already achieved). I would like to think that this contest is not the one that encouraged them to stop. It is really the smoking cessation program and their willingness to have a better quality of life,” she said.
Dr. May Ann Sta. Lucia, chief of the DOH Western Visayas Center for Health Development Local Health Support Division, said the no-smoking campaign is fourth in the seven priority areas of their health and life campaign.
“This challenge aims to motivate more smokers to embark on the journey to quit smoking while commemorating their choice for a healthier life. This underscores the message that quitting smoking is a victory in itself, and there is much to gain from making this positive change,” she said.
The region has around 100 smoking cessation clinics currently serving 24,992 clients.
“We hope to increase our numbers,” Sta. Lucia said.
Limpin said that based on the Global Adult Tobacco Survey, there are around 14 million smokers in the Philippines. (PNA)