Duterte pressed to sign smoke-free Philippines EO

Friday, December 02, 2016

THE New Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP) appealed Friday to President Rodrigo Duterte to finally fulfill his promise of outlawing smoking in all public places across the country. In a statement, NVAP President Emer Rojas said the promised Executive Order (EO) is bound by the urgent need to save Filipinos from smoking-related illnesses as well as second-hand smoke. “We appeal to our dear President, who we know is an ardent anti-smoking advocate, to please sign the smoke-free Philippines EO now. Each day of delay would bring your people closer to becoming victims of the ills of smoking like me, who is a former smoker, as well as those who are not even smoking,” said Rojas. He noted how having the EO would help prevent second-hand smoke (SHS) from victimizing non-smokers, who are often left vulnerable to the exhaled smoke of cigarette users. “The smoke-free EO limits the locations, where people smoke so as not to harm others through second hand smoke,” said Rojas. Second-hand smoke is defined as the smoke from burning tobacco products exhaled, or breathed out, by the person smoking and has been acknowledged as having similar effects as smoking. Aside from curbing smoking in public places, the anti-smoking advocate also said having the EO would be a perfect complement to the already existing tobacco control measures, specifically the Republic Act 10351 (Sin Tax Law) and Republic Act No. 10643 (Graphic Health Warning Law). “The EO will serve as a perfect complement to the prevailing laws that aim to reduce smoking among Filipinos as it will lessen the frequency of smoking, thereby reducing the risks for them to get sick of tobacco-related diseases,” said Rojas. To note, the GHW law mandates tobacco manufacturers to place picture warnings on the ills of smoking in cigarette packs. On the other hand, the sin tax law is a measure that slaps higher tax rates to cigarette products, thereby making them more costly and inaccessible to the public, especially the youth and the poor. According to Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Paulyn Ubial, Duterte is more than willing to sign the EO in accordance with his campaign promise of curbing smoking in public places. Under the proposed EO, cigarette smoking is set to be prohibited in all public places in the country much like what is being implemented in Davao City since Duterte’s reign as mayor. (HDT/Sunnex)


Read more: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/manila/local-news/2016/12/02/duterte-pressed-sign-smoke-free-philippines-eo-512894
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