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The Davao City Vices Regulation Unit (VRU) has introduced the Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) that comes in a pastille form to help nicotine dependents to quit smoking.

This after Dr. Ashley Lopez, the head of VRU, noted that many Dabawenyos still could not kick the habit even after quitting.

Lopez said the withdrawal problem of smokers is one of the vital reasons they go back to smoking.

“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.

Lopez said the NRT can be availed by those willing to quit smoking but are having problems with withdrawal. NRT if offered by the city 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.

Lopez said the VRU will conduct training for health center personnel so that the NRT is 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. By that time, (smokers) can go to the nearest health centers instead of our office,” Lopez said. CIO