In one of my recent trips to the Manila City Hall, I spotted a guy casually smoking a cigarette right outside the office of a city Councilor. As I walked further down the hallway (which was lined with the offices of several other councilors) I saw more people puffing sticks after sticks of cigarettes. If you are a non-smoker, you will find it extremely challenging to pass by these halls or sit by the concrete benches. When I left the area half an hour later, I smelled like an ashtray and had a bit of headache from all the cigarette fumes I inhaled.
When the President signs the Executive Order that will ban smoking from all public places in the entire country, I wouldn’t have to worry about getting stuck in an area filled with other people’s cigarette smoke. Once the drafted Executive Order is signed, smoking will be banned in all public places such as parks, bus stations and other public transportation terminals, alleyways between buildings, sidewalks, and even inside a vehicle as this is considered a public area.
The Department of Health is steadfast in monitoring the official implementation of the total smoking ban policy in the country. They are also moving towards having RA 9211, or the act regulating the packaging, use, sale, distribution, and advertisement of tobacco products amended to address gray areas like point-of-sale advertisements and designation of smoking areas.
Fresh, smoke-less air, anyone?
Tell us what you think about this latest news from the government.