Smok­ing ban: The bane of smok­ing

Cebu Daily News - - NEWS - By Shaira Marie Rama and Chris­tine Jane N. Paler CEBU NOR­MAL UNI­VER­SITY IN­TERNS MICHELLE JOY PADAYHAG WITH

The Cebu Provin­cial Health Of­fice (PHO), one of the im­ple­menters of Ex­ec­u­tive Or­der No. 26, oth­er­wise known as the na­tion­wide ban on smok­ing, in­tends to strictly en­force Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s or­der across the prov­ince; while strik­ing a good bal­ance to en­sure that the rights of smok­ers are also re­spected.

“(The) anti-smok­ing cam­paign… anti-smok­ing pro­gram… I per­son­ally will al­ways sup­port (the ban) and the PHO will sup­port on the con­text of health. But it has to be put on the ba­sis of the smok­ers’ own right to smoke,” said provin­cial health of­fi­cer Dr. Rene Catan.

Catan ex­plained that while PHO will find ways to in­sti­tu­tion­al­ize the smok­ing ban in the prov­ince, they will also con­sider the peo­ple’s right to smoke by al­low­ing it in lim­ited ar­eas.

To strengthen EO No. 26, the PHO will push for the pas­sage of a provin­cial or­di­nance aimed to sup­port the na­tion­wide ban on smok­ing in all pub­lic places.

“Smok­ing is as old as man, when we started plant­ing to­bacco and get­ting the high of smok­ing,” said Catan, adding that the high smok­ers get from cig­a­rettes and to­bacco even­tu­ally leads to nico­tine ad­dic­tion.

Catan said that once a lo­cal or­di­nance is passed, the PHO will des­ig­nate smok­ing ar­eas in the prov­ince to fully im­ple­ment the Pres­i­dent’s or­der.

At City Hall, Cebu City Mayor To­mas Os­meña said that the smok­ing ban may af­fect the city’s econ­omy.

“Smok­ers are an eco­nomic force,” Os­meña said, point­ing out the rev­enues gen­er­ated from sin taxes on cig­a­rettes and to­bacco.

Os­meña also be­lieves the ban will af­fect tourism in the city.

“It will af­fect. It af­fects tourism in Davao be­cause you can­not smoke any­where,” Os­meña said, re­fer­ring to Davao City’s tough anti-smok­ing or­di­nance passed in 2002 dur­ing the in­cum­bency of then mayor Ro­drigo Duterte.

Duterte’s re­cently signed EO No. 26 pro­hibits smok­ing in all pub­lic places and en­closed ar­eas in­clud­ing pub­lic ve­hi­cles and other means of trans­port. The or­der sets out Des­ig­nated Smok­ing Ar­eas (DSA) but these shall not be lo­cated within 10 me­ters from en­trances, ex­its or any place where peo­ple pass or con­gre­gate.

The EO, which takes ef­fect 60 days from pub­li­ca­tion on the of­fi­cial gazette, also bans mi­nors from us­ing, sell­ing, or buy­ing cig­a­rette or to­bacco prod­ucts.

The sale of these prod­ucts is also pro­hib­ited within 100 me­ters from places fre­quented by mi­nors.

The tale of two smok­ers

Out of cu­rios­ity, Marvin Man­ing once tried smok­ing in col­lege ten years ago; but quit less than two months af­ter.

“The re­al­iza­tion if I con­tin­ued smok­ing was all health rea­sons for me and the peo­ple I love, and it is very costly in the long run,” he told CEBU DAILY NEWS.

Man­ing, now at 36, fa­vors EO 26 as it gives non-smok­ers like him pro­tec­tion from the haz­ards of sec­ond-hand smoke.

“I have had my share of smok­ing be­fore, and I have al­ways been care­ful where to smoke and who I am with when smok­ing,” Man­ing added.

Just like Man­ing, Neil Yap, a 32-year old busi­ness­man from Barangay Pardo, Cebu City, also fa­vors the na­tion­wide ban.

“I feel grate­ful that our Pres­i­dent is on top in mak­ing our coun­try cleaner and a liv­able place,” Yap said.

Yap, who started smok­ing at 18 years old con­sum­ing one pack of cig­a­rettes ev­ery month, said that he sel­dom lights up a cig­a­rette and only dur­ing drink­ing ses­sions with his friends.

“I feel an­noyed ev­ery time I sense some­one is smok­ing nearby. If you don’t care about your health, please be sen­si­tive for oth­ers that might get sick (of your) sec­ond hand smok­ing,” Yap said.

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