Davao City will be the first city in the country to facilitate the implementation of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT).
NRT is in line with the Smoking Cessation Program of the Department of Health (DOH), a strategy that offers nicotine gums, nicotine patches, and lozenges “that increases the likelihood of quitting smoking.”
“In the first quarter, the Mayor already allocated half a million pesos for the purchase of the medicines (for the NRT),” Dr. Ashley Lopez, the chief of the City Anti-Smoking Task Force, told reporters during yesterday’s I-Speak media forum.
Lopez said they are waiting for the allocation approval and its subsequent release before the program will be fully implemented.
“Because this is still experimental, we will look at how much can we consume in a quarter or how many patients have to be attended,” Lopez said.
Once they have tested the entire implementation of NRT, Lopez said they will pursue on implementing the NRT annually with improved services and bigger budget.
Lopez said the designated health officers of all 17 district offices in the city will be trained to assist in the implementation.
Under the program, patients will have to undergo counseling.
But before the counselling, the patients will be assessed by trained doctors to determine their level of nicotine addiction.
Lopez also reminded that the program is voluntary since there is still no existing ordinance or law that orders all nicotine dependents to submit themselves to NRT.