4Ps children beneficiaries in Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro expressing their support in the advocacy of World No Tobacco Day

In observance of the World No Tobacco Day on May 31st, with this year’s theme “Protecting Children from Tobacco Industry Interference”, simultaneous Youth Development Sessions (YDS) on “What’s Behind the Fruity Flavor: Vapes and E-cigs, What Do You Get from Them?” were being conducted among the children and youth beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in the provinces of MIMAROPA region from May 28-31, 2024.

The goal of the activity is to raise awareness on vapes and e-cigarettes, its harmful effects and negative impact to one’s health, and the marketing strategies employed by tobacco industries that target the children and youth as well as ways on how to avoid it.

Tobacco use remains a significant public health issue worldwide, and targeting youth with education and awareness campaigns, such as YDS, can help prevent them from starting to smoke or use other tobacco products.

“Young people often underestimate the risks associated with tobacco use, including its addictive nature and the serious health consequences such as cancer, heart disease, and respiratory problems. By raising awareness about these risks and promoting a tobacco-free lifestyle, we can empower youth to make informed decisions about their health”, Gemma Fronda stated, the YDS Focal of 4Ps MIMAROPA.

Furthermore, by educating youth about the tactics used by the tobacco industry to target them, such as marketing strategies and product design, can help them resist peer pressure and manipulation.

“As you face these developmental challenges and changes, may we gently remind you that we are here to assist you with appropriate skills needed to cope with the stresses and anxieties of life brought about these changes with a hope that through these, you will be able to resist the social pressures to vaping and deceiving strategies of tobacco industries,” Fronda added.

Through the YDS, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) provides youth an opportunity to promote health, prevent addiction, and create a future generation of non-smokers among its program beneficiaries.

Some children and youth beneficiaries from the municipalities of Santa Cruz and Gasan in Marinduque, from Bansud, Bongabong and Pinamalayan in Oriental Mindoro and from Calintaan and San Jose in Occidental Mindoro expressing their support thru their own little ways to urge the government to shield them from the harmful tobacco products and deceptive advertising practices