City officials ‘crush’ confiscated cigarettes in anti-smoking drive

Mayor Benjamin Magalong led other local officials and members of the Baguio City Smoke-Free Task Force, which he chairs, in the ceremonial crushing of 89.5 kilos of cigarettes worth P870,000 during flag-raising rites at City Hall on February 28.      

The cigarettes were confiscated by the task force thru the Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) headed by Marvin Hererra in collaboration with the community task force and barangay enforcers from February 2021 to January 2022.     

Also confiscated during the period were eight kilograms of ‘momma’ with tobacco; 43 units of electronic nicotine devices and promotional materials like ashtrays and display racks.    

POSD deputy head Daryl Kim Longid said these items were taken from individuals and establishment violators during regular enforcement operations.      

He said the confiscations were in line with city ordinance no. 34, series of 2017, principally authored by councilor Joel Alangsab, that prohibits the use, sale, distribution and advertisement of cigarettes and other tobacco products including vape and heated tobacco products/ electronic nicotine devices.    

“The measure aims to safeguard public health and ensure the wellbeing of all its constituents by protecting them from the harmful effects of smoking and tobacco consumption.  The crushing of confiscated cigarettes signifies our commitment to continue to make Baguio city smoke free by strongly implementing the anti-smoking ordinance,” Longid said.     

He said the city will continue to conduct compliance monitoring, distribution of IEC materials, advocacy activities; massive information campaigns in communities and  smoke cessation counseling to make Baguio a model city in forwarding a smoke-free environment and tobacco-free generation.  

“The task is not easy but let us continue to exert all efforts towards bringing back ‘Amoy Pino, Amoy Baguio” Longid said. – Gaby B. Keith