The City Vice Regulation Unit (VRU), in collaboration with City Mayor Sara Duterte, is issuing nicotine pastilles under their Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) program for citizens who are willing to stop smoking.
According to the VRU Secretariat Jalyn Pareja, the program is necessary as the number of smokers caught is increasing.
“Karon kay intensify ang atoang implementation so musulod og suok suok. Nagatago lang na sila kumbaga wala jud na sila ni undang (Now our implementation is intensified so those who are smoking in hidden, public places are caught. The smokers are just hiding, they did not stop),” she said.
The therapy program and nicotine pastilles are given for free. However, the intake of pastilles will be monitored.
The maximum pastilles allowed for consumption are only seven per day.
“Anhi lang sila diri sa vices unit sa Magsaysay or sa Davao Chest Center muingon lang sila willing sila (They can just come here to the VRU in Magsaysay or the Davao Chest Center and say that they are willing to do the therapy),” Pareja added.
The NRT is not enforced and only accepts those who are willing to go through the program.
“Sa mga willing lang ang NRT kay lisod pud og pugson nato sila kay medjo pricey ang gamot (NRT is only for those who are willing. It is difficult to force smokers, and the medicine is quite pricey),” Pareja said.
As of August 2019, VRU reported that the total number of anti-smoking violators apprehended was 9,116.
The city garnered a total of 4,064,955 pesos from January to August this year. The money collected from these violations will be given to the city’s Lingap and public works projects.
Most of the apprehended people are aged 26-45 years old. The majority are from Talomo District.