Confronting the challenges associated with teaching tobacco harms to students whose parents are tobacco manufactory workers
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Marikina Science High School, (Previous Engagement Is Fortune High School), Philippines
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A673
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Background and challenges to implementation:
Fortune High School is the youngest public high school in the Marikina City, which primarily serves population within Brgy. Fortune, a barangay named after the most popular value brand cigarettes of Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corporation (PMFTC). The school comprises students whose parents are commonly employed by PMFTC in their manufactory just one kilometre away from the school. Students and teachers are exposed to chemicals and smoke by-products of the nearby factory, and printed advertisements are all over, especially for the new products PMFTC is testing in the market. FHS´ context makes discussion smoking harms extremely needed, yet required to be balanced with clarifications on livelihood and economic impacts of tobacco control.

Intervention or response:
Our school started taking on a comprehensive approach to highlight tobacco control. It recognises that the discussion can be integrated in the following teaching subjects: "Music, Arts, Physical Education, and Health, Science, and Social Studies. As a teacher in Social Studies, my role is best exemplified in discussing tobacco control as social and economic issue, and created an avenue for the students to discuss their parents´ struggles in the workplace. We coordinated with Bawas Bisyo (Vice Reduction) coalition, the largest coalition of youth organizations against vices for peer-to-peer interactions and programs to impart this as a youth issue.

Results and lessons learnt:
The influence of tobacco interference is huge in a community whose connections with the industry is largely economic. The coordinated efforts to teach various aspects of tobacco (health, social, and mental harms, as well as the political and legal issues surrounding it) helped in providing a holistic on tobacco.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
It is recommended for the Department of Education (DepEd) to develop teaching guides for the use of all teachers as they integrated in their own subjects the complex issues surrounding tobacco.

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