Thursday, October 13, 2016

Duterte's Smoking Ban

When I first came across an article, linked to on Facebook, reporting how Philippine President Duterte was planning on issuing a nationwide ban on smoking cigarettes in public, I wasn't sure if the story was factual or if it was just another Internet Duterte rumor. After a little research I discovered that the story is indeed true.

My American neighbor and I were discussing the news; we're both non-smokers and the ban wouldn't affect either of us, but we were both curious about whether or not the President actually had the legal authority to institute the cigarette ban. Evidentially, he does.

 According to report:

"Davao city, which enforced a successful smoking ban under Duterte's mayorship, is being touted as a role model.
The health secretary said that the smoking ban in Davao worked because the city government strictly enforced it and created a task force of enforcers specifically to implement the ban.
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".

There will be outdoor designated areas for smoking and smokers will still be permitted to indulge in the privacy of their homes.

Unlike in the U.S., smokers in Philippines don't normally purchase cigarettes by the pack; more often, a smoker will buy individual cigarettes - by the "stick". I often see Filipinos buying a stick at a sari-sari store where the owner of the sari-sari will have a cigarette lighter secured near the window so the buyer can light his stick before leaving the store front. With the ban on public smoking, it'll make it a bit difficult for these smokers to get a light - unless, of course, they start buying matches or lighters.

The ban is said to have been brought about because of a concern about second hand smoke. That's all well and good, but I wonder if Duterte has plans to attack a more prevalent hazard from smoke - I'm speaking of the common Filipino habit of burning rubbish outdoors. Some days, when more than one neighbor is burning leaves or trash, the neighborhood can become quite smoky. The volume of smoke from these fires is more bothersome than the second hand smoke I've come across from cigarettes.

Oh, yeah.....while he's at it. maybe the President can do something about all the stray dogs that roam the streets.

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