Advocacy group urges Duterte to sign anti-smoking EO soonest

Published  January 15, 2017 11:31am LBG, GMA News

A cancer prevention advocacy group on Sunday called on President Rodrigo Duterte to immediately sign the executive order against smoking in public places, said that there are nearly 17.3 Filipinos addicted to tobacco already.

Six months after Duterte started a bloody anti-illegal drug campaign, the advocacy group calling itself the New Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP) said that smoking addiction must be curbed with the same intense resolve to stop drug abuse.

In a statement, NVAP president Emer Rojas said, “First-time smokers turn into chain smokers because tobacco is addictive. Nearly 17.3 million Filipinos are currently addicted to smoking already.”

“This simply means that such addiction must also be curbed by the government in a similar way that it endeavors to stop the drug menace,” he added.

Also, he said that tobacco smoking causes avoidable health problems similar to those acquired through drug abuse.

Illegal drugs as well as cigarette smoking can cause heart disease, respiratory issues, and liver disease among others.

But, smoking can lead to even more health conditions, such as lung cancer, heart ailments, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, tuberculosis, and stroke, Rojas added.

“We need to stop the premature death of Filipinos due to tobacco addiction,” he insisted, saying that almost 10 Filipinos die every hour due to smoking-related diseases.

Rojas said Duterte should sign immediately the Executive Order (EO) that will prohibit smoking in all public places.

Last October, Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said that Duterte was set to sign the EO on smoking.

Recently, she said that the draft EO is already with the Office of the President and is expected to be signed within January.

NVAP is a cancer prevention, person with disabilities (PWD) and tobacco control advocacy group based in the Philippines. —LBG, GMA News

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