Doc explains damaging effects of cigarette smoking to health, environment

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, Dec. 12 (PIA) -- Medical Officer Meliarazon F. Dulay of the Provincial Health Office underscored the impact of smoking as she shared some facts on the dangerous effects of smoking to health and the environment.


The damage that smoking does to the environment is unquantifiable, according to “Tobacco and the Environment, an Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Factsheet, Dulay explained during the recent Health and Environment Summit spearheaded by the Municipal Health Services and the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office.

The cigarette contains 7,000 chemicals which are toxic when ingested by children and eaten by mistake among household pets and animals including fish and other marine life.

The sight of cigarettes and packages disappearing into a storm and drain may ease the guilt of a litterer but those often find their way into bodies of water, and subsequently, the stomachs of marine wildlife. The cigarette butt, the most littered worldwide, is non-biodegradable composed of cellulose acetate, a plastic that may disperse into smaller pieces.  

It said that smoking releases about 2.6 billion kilograms of carbon dioxide in the air worldwide every year which is not good for the health. It also releases about 5.2 billion kilograms of methane every year which is a toxic substance.

Its effect to the environment in quantifiable amount is dangerous to second hand smoke and also air pollution. Ninety percent of the smoke from a cigarette is released into the air creating side stream or the emission of smoke from the lighted end of a cigarette or cigar. It is also the main source of indoor pollution. In addition, tobacco curing directly contributes to global warming.

It contributes to deforestation as millions of hectares of trees are being cut down for its plantation. Consequently, it causes soil erosion, desertification, making the land unfit for agriculture. Tobacco plants use more nutrients than several crops which quickly degrades the surrounding soil.

As to cigarette production, Dulay said a tree is cut down for every 300 cigarettes. Trees are also used to process tobacco leaves, produce paper to package and wrap the cigarettes.

Green tobacco sickness is also experienced among farmers and workers exposed to tobacco production. The manifestations are nausea, vomiting, weakness, headache, dizziness, difficulty in breathing, abdominal cramps, changes in heart rates and blood pressure. They are exposed to nicotine especially when in direct skin contact to wet tobacco leaves.

On the structural and physical consequences, one-third of fire incidences around the world are caused by careless smoking.

Dulay stressed the need to cooperate in order to lessen the impact of cigar and cigarette smoking for better physical health and a better environment to live in. Susan C. Aro (JDP/SCA-PIA-CAR, Benguet)


Benguet Destinations

Strawberry Farm

La Trinidad is know to be the “Strawberry Capital of the Philippines” because of the strawberry fields. Visitors can experience strawberry picking and also taste different products made from strawberry like the strawberry ice cream and strawberry “taho”.

Asin Hot Springs

Located at the outskirts of the city of Baguio, this attraction gives it’s visitors the chance to indulge in serious relaxation. Asin Hot Springs has been knwon to do wonders for the mind, body and soul because of the spring’s natural minerals like sulfates, calcium and chloride.

BenCab Museum

The BenCab museum, located at KM 6. Asin Road, houses the permanent collection of Philippine National Artist Benedicto Cabrera (BenCab) in several galleries, as well as venues for art shows and exhibitions. The Philippine Contemporary Art Galleries highlight the artist’s collection of paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture. The smaller exhibition rooms contain other collections accumulated by BenCab through the years.

Bell Church

The home to beautiful landscaped gardens and intricately designed arches and buildings adorned with flags, bells and dragons. Bell church holds some artifacts about Buddhism and literatures about the history of China.

Mt. Pulag

Mt. Pulag is the highest peak in Luzon and the third highest in the Philippines which is 2,922 meters above sea level. The view from the top of Mt. Pulag never fails to amaze its climbers.

Kabayan Mummies

Also know as the Fire Mummies of the Philippines, the Kabayan Mummies are from the Ibaloi tribe of Benguet. This have been included in the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the World by a non-profit organization that focuses on the preservation of important historical monuments and sites.

Ambuclao Dam

The Ambuclao dam is popularly known as the biggest rock filled dam in the Far East and is considered as one of the major projects in Luzon that feeds electricity to the grid lines of Luzon.

Rose Gardens

Rose lovers will surely be pleased with Rose Gardens. A famous tourist attraction located in La Trinidad. Here, you will find a large variety of roses, chrysanthemums and other ornamental plants.

Mt. Ugo

This is considered to be one of the major destinations in the Cordilleras. It is the highest mountain located in Tinongdan, Itogon via the Benguet-Vizcayay boundary that boasts of stunning views of neighboring mountains and the great Luzon valley.

Kalugong View Point

A trek to Mount Kalugong is something that adventure seekers and nature lovers woudn't miss. The Kalugong View Point will give you a breathtaking experience and a panoramic view of the La Trinidad Valley and ther villages.
EL Kikasa