DepEd to parents and adults: counsel children to veer away from smoking
SOCIALWATCH PHIL·Friday, July 31, 2020
While there are plenty of other vices which can lure young people, cigarette smoking threatens families’ health and smoking can be easily picked up by succeeding generation, the Department of Education (DepEd) said in a statement.
Addressing a webinar on the dangers of tobacco smoking among the youth organized by the Social Watch Philippines (SWP) recently, DepEd Secretary Leonor M. Briones said that the public needs to know that risk of cigarette smoking to learners remains.
According to Secretary Briones, her department welcomes the Smoke Free Is the New Normal campaign to warn parents, teachers and all concerned adults that the pervasiveness of cigarette smoking is not only a menace to health and well-being of families but threatens families and classrooms as the habit can be intergenerational.
“When one gets addicted to smoking, it’s very difficult to stop, [and] those who successfully kicked out the habit know how tough it is,” according to Briones, adding “[this] addiction can run in families, with fathers passing on the habit to their children, [and] in classrooms where peer pressure is very powerful.”
According to the education chief, at least her own family members have suffered from diseases directly or related to smoking.
“Personally [I am] against smoking because my father died at the age of 54, triggered by smoking in his younger days as a college student. Three of my brothers died from various diseases associated with smoking, one from heart condition, another from stroke and the third from accumulated series of heart conditions which [ was ultimately] traced to smoking,” the official said.
According to Secretary Briones, the education department has a strong smoke free, no smoking policy for learners and teachers, which include staff in their schools and in their offices.
She also explained that there are possible reasons why smoking remains unfortunately popular.
Because “smoking is now considered less harmful [compared with] other addictive practices, [it then follows that it is] perhaps the most innocent-sounding, innocent-looking, perhaps the most glamorous because it’s always fun to defy authorities, [or] do which are forbidden and are considered off-limits.”
“This is why the DepEd has a strong program against smoking and will be happy to cooperate with all institutions, individuals, families who are into this campaign. I hope that our members, our education practitioners, and learners who will participate in this webinar will benefit from the positive lessons and I hope it can contribute to keeping our children tobacco-free,” the education chief also added as way of invitation to the webinar.
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