Cebu residents voice support for smoking ban

By: Michelle Joy L. Padayhag July 22,2017 - 09:46 PM

Health personnel distribute flyers describing the health risks posed by smoking to commuters in Manila in this file photo.
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She may be a smoker, but Wilyn Arante supports the nationwide public ban on smoking which takes effect today.

“Mas okay siya (nationwide smoking ban) kay bastos ang uban manigarilyo mamuga bisag atubangan sa uban. Ako if mag smoke ko kay kanang luyo sa building, kahoy or places nga walay daghan tawo (Some smokers have no manners, they smoke even in front of other people. On my part, I smoke at the back of the building, trees or any places without people),” the 26-year-old Arante told Cebu Daily News.

A smoker since she was 17, Arante said it was a personal decision to smoke since her father and and two brothers also smoke.

“I just smoke to relieve stress. That’s one way of coping up (stress) and it’s effective,” Arante said.

She said the new law will help discipline smokers like her who plan to kick the habit for good.

A resident of Barangay Sambag 1, Cebu City, Arante underwent an operation last March.

“Lisod oi og mo withdraw (undang) ka kay ubhon ka or sington dayon (It’s difficult when you start to withdraw from smoking. It’s either you experience coughing or sweating),” Arante said.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 26 on May 26 which mandates smoke-free public and enclosed places nationwide.

Smokers are no longer allowed to smoke at schools, recreational facilities, elevators, stairwells, areas with fire hazards, hospitals, clinics and food preparation areas.

Open spaces or areas with proper ventilation are designated areas of smoking under the new EO.

The new EO also requires establishments to put up “No Smoking” signs that measure at least 8 by 11 inches (20.3 by 27.9 cm), with a “No Smoking” symbol occupying at least 60 percent of the sign.

A “Designated Smoking Area” with graphic warnings on smoking’s harmful effects on health should also be displayed at the establishments.
Another smoker who introduced himself only as Alvin, also supported the ban.

Alvin started smoking when he was 16 years old after being influenced by friends and said he smokes because he’s often bored.

At age 23, Alvin is an electrical engineering student in one of the universities in Cebu, and he can consume 13 sticks in a day.

“Aw in favor ko ana (nationwide smoking ban) kay aron sad naay kahadlok ang mga smokers nga dili bisag asa mag smoke,” Alvin said.

(I am in favor [nationwide smoking ban] so that smokers will not just smoke anywhere.)

Alvin said he quit smoking in 2014 but resumed his habit due to boredom.

“Of course naa gihapon ko’y plan mo undang, hinay hinay lang (I have plans to stop smoking, one step at a time),” he said.

Under section nine of EO No. 26, all cities and towns are enjoined to form a local smoke-free task force to help carry out the provisions of the order.

Tuburan Mayor Democrito Diamante said they are now identifying areas that will be covered by their ordinance and EO No. 26.

“We approved a smoke-free ordinance to public places this year. With the newly EO signed by our President then it is easier for us to implement such,” Diamante said.

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TAGS: ban, residents, smoking, support, Voice
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