Cebu City officials welcome nationwide smoking ban
CEBU City officials welcomed the news that President Rodrigo Duterte will sign an executive order (EO) for a nationwide smoking ban “soon.”
Acting Mayor Edgardo Labella said this kind of policy is long overdue that previous presidents failed to address.
“The health hazard of cigarette smoking has long been proven to be beyond question. Worse is that even non-smokers are affected because of what we call as passive smoking,” he said.
Passive smoking is the inhalation of smoke, referred to as secondhand smoke, by people other than the the person who is actually the one smoking a cigarette.
“I am emotional on this issue because my mother succumbed to lung cancer at the age of 43 even if she was not a smoker. It was a clear case of passive smoking because my father was a chain smoker,” Labella said.
Councilor Mary Ann de los Santos, deputy mayor on health, said this will help instill discipline among the populace, “which we seriously need at present.”
In an Inquirer report, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Labella said the revised draft of the EO on a nationwide smoking ban prepared by the Department of Health (DOH), reached the President’s desk yesterday morning.
Abella also said in the report that under the EO, smoking indoors will also be prohibited aside from smoking in public places.
Councilors Pastor Alcover Jr., Sisinio Andales and Joel Garganera, who all said they don’t smoke, also supported the EO.
Councilor Hanz Abella, Jerry Guardo and Joy Pesquera also said the move is a welcome development.
Councilor Jose Daluz III said he will pass a resolution in the Cebu City Council fully supporting the President’s policy.
But Councilor Joy Augustus Young said he believes an EO is not enough.
“He (President Duterte) should ban the selling of tobacco in the Philippines. We’ll be the first country to do so. Also, smoking is a gateway to drugs. Study shows that smokers go into drugs more easily than non-smokers,” he said.
Councilor James Anthony Cuenco said the ban should be properly enforced.
“Case in point is our anti-smoking ordinance in Cebu City which is loosely enforced. I believe stiffer penalties must be imposed if it is to work,” Cuenco said.
Councilor Eduardo Rama Jr., who quit smoking three months ago, said the policy will be a deterrent to smokers.
Councilor Raymond Garcia filed a proposal to include the creation of a task force headed by the mayor to oversee the enforcement of the ban.
He said his proposed amendment to the city ordinance is patterned after Davao City’s anti-smoking ordinance.
Councilor Dave Tumulak, who admits to being a smoker, said stiffer penalties should be imposed on violators, as well as designating areas for smokers.
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