Metro Manila ‘smoke-free, vape-free’ parks gain support from MMDA

James Relativo - Philstar.com
Metro Manila �smoke-free, vape-free� parks gain support from MMDA
File photo of a man vaping
The STAR / Edd Gumban, File photo

MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority commended the Sangguniang Kabataan and Metro Manila local government units for declaring facilities under the Adopt-A-Park program as “smoke and vape-free areas” within the region.

Starting this week, LGUs and their respective SKs will conduct several activities aimed at increasing the awareness of the youth on health and safety. 

“Our youth must be provided with healthy surroundings,” said MMDA acting chairperson Don Artes on Saturday.

“Public parks must be conducive for activities that would strengthen our children’s bodies and protect them against any danger.”

MMDA and LGUs have agreed to utilize the parks under the authority’s Adopt-A-Park program not only for leisure and relaxation, but for “helping combat climate change and air pollution” as well.

The authority, in collaboration with the Department of Interior and Local Government, National Youth Commission, Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Vital Strategies and Action on Smoking and Health, recently conducted two rounds of communications planning with the SK Federation of the 17 Metro Manila LGUs. 

Various activities will be conducted at the Adopt-A-Park locations to promote a healthier and safer environment as a result of the said planning activity.

Around 87,000 Filipinos die every year from tobacco-related diseases, according to the Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease.

The Lung Center of the Philippines in May 2022 said that 321 people die daily from tobacco-related diseases.

“The MMDA and SKs Smoke-Free Parks initiative marks a pivotal stride in creating healthier public spaces where citizens can truly flourish," said Kaloi Garcia, senior communications manager of Vital Strategies, an international health nonprofit organization.

“Vital Strategies is proud to support this endeavor, one that safeguards the public’s health and wellness by hindering the use of cigarettes, vapes, and other deadly tobacco products.”

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