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VRU eyes Nicotine Replacement Therapy at health centers for free

The City government will provide help down to the community levels to assist nicotine dependents quit smoking.

The Vices Regulation Unit (VRU) has introduced the Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) that comes in a pastille form and eyes to conduct training for health center personnel so that the NRT will be available in the barangays.

“We are targeting that by the end of the year, we can increase our coverage by distributing the NRT to the health centers,” said Dr. Ashley Lopez, the head of VRU.

According to him, smokers can soon go to the nearest health centers to avail of the NRT for free.

Lopez said many Davaoeño still could not kick the habit even after quitting, hence, many would still go back to the old habit.

“The only concrete intervention to address the nicotine addiction or dependents is to have a nicotine replacement therapy. As far as I understand, we are the only city in the Philippines to have this,” Lopez said.

He said the withdrawal problem of smokers is one of the vital reasons they go back to smoking. The NRT can be availed by those willing to quit smoking but are having problems with withdrawal. Currently, the VRU distributes it for free.

“The NRT will be for 2 to 12 weeks therapy, depending on what category they belong to. It will come with counseling. For now, I am the only physician trained for this kind of counseling that is why they need to go to the office to avail of this,” he said.

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