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DoH sees more Filipinos using smoking quit line

By: Charina Clarisse L. Echaluce

The Department of Health expects more Filipinos calling the smoking quit line now that the nationwide smoking ban is in effect.

Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial said they are expecting more smokers who will try to quit their deadly vice because of Executive Order No. 26 which limits the number of places where one is allowed to smoke.

“We expect more calls in the DoH Quit Line after the implementation of the smoking ban,” Ubial said.

The DoH chief said they have been receiving an average of 20 calls per day since the smoking ban took effect.

She expressed confidence that there will be more Filipinos who will consider quitting smoking, noting that it is what they experienced when a smoking ban was imposed in Davao City.

“That was the experience in Davao. When we implemented the smoking ban in public places, many smokers decided to quit altogether,” said Ubial.

Health spokesperson Eric Tayag said the implementation of the nationwide smoking ban was one of the rationale in the establishment of the DoH Quit Line.

“We are anticipating that there would be a surge in the number of those looking to quit smoking that is why we established the Quit Line,” he said.

The DoH Quit Line 165364 was launched recently and it aims to supplement the expected shortage of local smoking cessation clinics.

“One way we can comply with the EO 26 is by putting up the Quit Line, which is easy to call. It is very similar to cessation clinics,” Tayag said.

A mobile-based smoking cessation service can also be availed of by texting STOPSMOKE to (29290)165364 and text messaging will begin support and guidance instead of actual operators and voice.