The Philip­pine pres­i­dent’s next cam­paign: Pub­lic smok­ing ban

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte is turn­ing to another bat­tle aside from il­le­gal drugs: Smok­ing. Health Sec­re­tary Paulyn Ubial told the As­so­ci­ated Press on Tues­day that she hopes the pres­i­dent can sign the draft ex­ec­u­tive or­der ban­ning smok­ing in pub­lic na­tion­wide be­fore the end of the month.

The depart­ment is push­ing for the ban to start be­fore the law pro­vid­ing for graphic health warn­ings on to­bacco prod­ucts is fully im­ple­mented on Nov. 4. Ubial said Duterte wants a 100 per­cent smoke-free en­vi­ron­ment in pub­lic places sim­i­lar to Davao, the south­ern city where he was for­merly mayor.

Away from pub­lic

Des­ig­nated smok­ing ar­eas are to be out­doors and away from the pub­lic, and lo­cal govern­ment units will be asked to is­sue or­di­nances to en­force the smok­ing ban and set penal­ties. She said e-cig­a­rettes will be in­cluded in the ban be­cause they too pro­duce smoke.

Ubial said there is no rea­son for smok­ers and to­bacco com­pa­nies to op­pose the ban. “I don’t see any rea­son why they will op­pose that,” she told the AP. “We’re not stop­ping them from smok­ing, we are just telling them not to smoke around non­smok­ers.”

Ubial said the smok­ing ban was suc­cess­ful in Davao be­cause the city govern­ment strictly en­forced it and cre­ated a task force of en­forcers specif­i­cally to im­ple­ment the ban. It was not just an add-on work for the po­lice. It will be up to prov­inces and towns to de­ter­mine if they will fol­low that ex­am­ple, and what penal­ties they will im­pose for vi­o­la­tors, she said.

The ex­ec­u­tive or­der takes ef­fect im­me­di­ately af­ter Duterte signs it, but the rules to im­ple­ment it will need to be crafted by na­tional govern­ment agen­cies and by lo­cal gov­ern­ments through or­di­nances. As­sis­tant Health Sec­re­tary Eric Tayag said the or­der aims to pro­tect the pub­lic from sec­ond­hand or third­hand smoke - that in­haled when a smoker is nearby or when smoke lingers af­ter­ward.

Duterte took of­fice on June 30 vow­ing to ex­pand poli­cies from Davao such as his anti-drug cam­paign. The crack­down has left about 3,600 sus­pected drug push­ers and users dead, in­clud­ing more than 1,500 sus­pects killed in gun­bat­tles with po­lice. The killings have been widely con­demned by hu­man rights ad­vo­cates, and the United States, Euro­pean Union and United Na­tions.

Many have won­dered if Duterte would also ex­pand a Davao ban on pow­er­ful fire­crack­ers dur­ing New Year’s Eve rev­elry. If the ban is im­posed na­tion­ally, he would bring a ma­jor change in a vi­o­lent cel­e­bra­tory tra­di­tion that has caused deaths and hundreds of in­juries each year. —AP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.