The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) called on all local government units (LGU) in the region to enforce the smoke-free ordinance as the country observes “National No Smoking Month” this June.
Region 7 Health Information Officer Ligaya I. Moneva made the call on Tuesday, saying all LGUs need to enforce the smoking ban in public places as suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO).
“We encourage all the LGUs, the municipalities, and cities to have a smoke-free ordinance as compliance to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control which also states that no retail store within the 100-meter radius from any schools should be allowed to sell cigarettes,” Moneva said.
The observance of the “National No Smoking Month” is aimed at raising public awareness on the ill effects of smoking and encourage smokers to kick the habit, she said, adding that 240 Filipinos, or 10 people per hour, die every day because of cigarettes.
Moneva added that every establishment should have a smoking area in accordance with Executive Order 26 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on May 17, 2017.
While a smoke-free ordinance is already in effect in Cebu City, Moneva said it still needs strict implementation as many smokers can still be seen smoking in public areas and street vendors and retail stores near schools are selling cigarettes.
However, the DOH-7 (Central Visayas) official was glad to note that the number of young and adult smokers in the country has significantly declined, according to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey – Philippines.
The EO 26 or Sin Tax Law, and the non-selling of cigarettes to minors may have contributed to the decline in smoking, she said.
Moneva also warned the public that electronic cigarettes and vapes are likewise dangerous as the smoke intensity of e-cigarettes is 14 times higher than tobacco cigarettes.
“They (vapes) are also dangerous because they contain harmful chemicals and addictive substances like nicotine,” Moneva added. (DOH/PNA)
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