‘Other than drugs, gov’t must combat smoking, too

Published January 15, 2017, 10:00 PM

By Charina Clarisse L. Echaluce

Six months after the Duterte administration launched its relentless war against illegal drugs, the anti-smoking group New Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP) yesterday urged the President to show the same drive and zeal in curbing smoking  by signing the executive order (EO) that will prohibit smoking in all public places.

“First-time smokers turn into chain smokers because tobacco is addictive. Nearly 17.3 million Filipinos are currently addicted to smoking already,” said NVAP president Emer Rojas, in behalf of the organization which is composed of cancer survivors.

The NVAP believes that it is “imperative for Duterte to also take strides in stopping more and more Filipinos from getting addicted to smoking cigarettes.”

“Such addiction must also be curbed by the government in a similar way that it endeavors to stop the drug menace,” Rojas stressed.

He added that while illegal drugs are known to cause heart, lung and liver ailnments, among others, such illnesses can also be caused by cigarette smoking.

Rojas said one way to finally curb smoking is the presence of EO that prohibits smoking in all public places.

“We are calling on President Duterte to finally make a stand for Filipinos against the perennial lies of the tobacco companies by signing the much-awaited EO for a smoke-free Philippines,” he said, adding that Duterte himself suffers Buerger’s Disease which is an ailment attributed to smoking.

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