TABACO CITY, June 26 (PNA) -- Mayor Marie Demetriou admitted in an interview here Thursday that she is still struggling to quit smoking and that little by little, she's doing fine because of the anti-smoking ordinance of this city and the pressure of being a role model to her constituents.
Demetriou said she is a smoker but said, she fully supports the no-smoking advocacy.
The mayor added, "I promise to smoke (only) once a day," then laughed.
She said how proud she feels for Tabaco City.
Tabaco City has been encouraging its business establishments to create and display their own anti-smoking signages.
Comparing the state of the city before, Demetriou said, she saw a big change -- like when she passes by the bus stop in front of Jollibee, she said, there are no smokers anymore, unlike before.
Even the barkers at the terminals do not smoke anymore because "they heard from the radio that smoking is now prohibited in public places."
She thanked the media for being a great medium of communication and influence to the public.
Forty business establishments in Tabaco City were given non-monetary awards by Smoke-Free Albay Network (SFAN) on June 19 at the Tabaco National High School Alumni Hall.
The occasion was one of the events of 2014 Tabak Festival, No Smoking Month and DOH's Red Orchid Awarding Month.
Councilor Sheina Onrubia, committee on health chair and one of the proponents of the ordinance on anti-smoking, also thanked the SFAN and the ADD+VANTAGE Team for consistently helping them in the advocacy, providing technical help and a push of moral support.
She said the non-monetary award is "very effective in encouraging the establishments to be smoke-free... since it is very rewarding to be recognized."
Board member Heriberto Borja, SFAN chairman, said the plaques and the frames given as awards were not just tokens of appreciation but a constant reminder to the awardee and other establishment of how rewarding it is to show concern to other people, customer and employees by helping promote the smoke-free advocacy.
Borja inspired the listeners by making Gov. Joey Sarte Salceda an example.
Even when the executive order for creating SFAN was signed, he said, the governor was still a smoker then.
A few years later, the governor renounced smoking and became a major advocate of Smoke-Free Albay.
In an interview with one of the award recipients, Jinky Barcenas, store supervisor of Oriental Bazaar, she said "a smoke-free establishment is much more appreciated by the citizens and even a small signage does so much in reminding every individual about the city ordinance and the concern of the management."
The Tabaco City Smoke-Free Ordinance No. 019-2011 was approved on Oct. 17, 2011 with the following as proponents: Councilors Alfredo C. Adalla, Sr., Sheina Marie C. Onrubia and Lourdes B. Berces.(PNA) CTB/FGS/ROO/CBD