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MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, August 5 (PIA) -- This city's local chief executive has a lot of advice up his sleeve to guide and help chain smokers stop the habit of puffing smoke.

Topping the list in City Mayor Maloney Samaco's advice arsenal which he often recommended to those willing to quit are nicotine-laced drugs that can simulate the sensation of smoking but not as harmful.

The was also the favorite tablet or capsule prescribed by a practicing private physician in the city when patients seek for a doctor's advice on the best drug to heal one's craving for smoking, Samaco said. in a recent Action Center Kapihan sa PIA cable TV interview.

For those who cannot afford to buy this drug, which at P 60 each is admittedly costly, Samaco said another option was the nicotine-laced patch that will just be pasted in one's arm with a similar effect.

"There are also e-cigarettes but we do not recommend this one," he added, indicating that this may even be included in the smoking ban.

On the supply side, the city has heightened its anti-smoking drive. Last month, the Mayor himself hammered a closure notice on three stores in the city that continued to sell cigarettes despite repeated pleas and warnings by the city authorities.

Two of these stores had re-opened after complying with penalties and a stronger resolve to never again deal with cigarettes, while the other one remained closed for some other lacking business requirements, it was learned.

Samaco said the Healthy City Team which monitors and implements city-bred regulations pertaining to health, among them the smoking ban, has been closely watching a big store that continued to defy anti-smoking laws.

At the right time, this big store can be closed as well sooner or later, and will be made as an example that even big stores are not spared by the serious smoke-free city campaign, Samaco also said.