Quitting smoking? Call DOH free hotlines, says advocate

SMOKING BAN A man blows cigarette smoke at Ortigas-Edsa underpass in Quezon City even as President Rodrigo Duterte has signed an executive order implementing a nationwide smoking ban. INQUIRER PHOTO / NINO JESUS ORBETA

Those who quit, win.

This is the come-on of an antitobacco advocate’s call for the smoking public to give the Department of Health (DOH) Quit Line a try.

Quit Line is a smoking cessation program that the DOH launched recently.

“We should all value health as our primary concern,” said Emer Rojas, president of the New Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP).

“We therefore urge all smokers to avail themselves of the free DOH Quit Line and be on their way to enjoy life to the fullest,” Rojas said in a statement.

The NVAP head said those reluctant to try the program may develop noncommunicable diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, heart ailments, hypertension and diabetes.

“If they don’t quit, then they take the risk and may end up as victims, like me, or even worse, die,” said Rojas, a former smoker and a laryngeal cancer survivor.

Hotline, text message

Last Monday, the DOH launched the phone- and mobile-centered support services to help Filipino smokers quit tobacco.

Quit Line is a hotline—165364—that smokers can call to receive real-time counseling and support through the phone.

The mobile-based cessation program, which can be done via texting ‘STOPSMOKE’ to (29290)165364, provides clients with text messages of support and guidance to quit smoking.

The NVAP lauded the health department for coming up with a program that aims to help smokers quit.

“Tobacco smoking is one of the single leading causes of death and diseases in the world. The Quit Line is the final link to complete government support to the NCD prevention program of the country,” Rojas said. —Tina G. Santos


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