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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tobacco Control Network calls for strict compliance of RA9211

By Jocelyn P Alvarez

ZAMBOANGA CITY - Despite health awareness on the dire consequences of tobacco/cigarette smoking, still, many men and women, young and old alike, can’t resist but puff the addictive stuff.

As a matter of fact, 17.3 million Filipino adults age 15 years and older are current tobacco smokers according to the results of the 2009 Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Smoking damages just about every organ of the body and trail blaze to the general deterioration of health of the smoker.  It is associated with the big C- cancer;respiratory disease,cardiovascular disease and its effects are widespread that include damage to skin, eyes and mouth.

There is no mantra that enumerates “responsible smoking”, because in the first place, smoking is never responsible.If it were, one would not start smoking. In one way or the other, smoking is somewhatbeing unfair to your health and to the second hand smokers.

Health studies said exposure to secondhand smoke is believed to cause lung cancer or heart disease deaths of about 49,000 non-smokers every year. Nonsmokers who are exposed tosecondhand smoke have a 25 to 30 percent increase in their heart disease risk and a 20 to 30 percent increase in their lung cancer risk.

Children whose parents or caregivers smoke have an increased risk of asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, coughing, wheezing, and ear infections. Babies of smokers have a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS.

It’s time to put the cigarette butt out!

RTCN  reiterates call for RA9211 implementation

The Regional Tobacco Control Network (RTCN) headed by the Department of Heath reiterated its call for the observance and strict implementation of RA9211 or the "Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003," during its meeting held October 15 in one of the local hotels here.

It’s long overdue that each of us do our own share of responsibility,” said Teresita De La Cruz of DOH 9.

RA 9211 isthe law that regulates the packaging, use, sale, distribution and advertisement of tobacco products. RA 9211 protects the people from hazardous tobacco smoke, promotes the right of the people to health and instills health consciousness.

De La Cruz said RA 9211 assigns places where smoking is absolutely banned or prohibited. “When you say absolutely prohibited, meaning the place cannot have designated smoking areas or DSAs,” she explained.

Places included in the smoking ban

Places or areas included in the smoking ban include:a. centers of youth activity such as playschools, preparatory schools, elementary schools, colleges and universities, youth hostels, and recreational facilities for persons under 18 years old.

Elevators and stairwells are also areas included in the ban; gas stations and storage areas for flammable liquids, gas explosives or combustible materials; within the building and premises of: public and private hospitals, medical clinics, dental clinics, optical clinics, health centers, nursing homes, dispensaries, laboratories; public conveyance like jeepneys, buses , taxis and tricycles and food preparation areas .

Government offices included in the smoking ban under RA 9211 are Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd) and other offices that offer social services,” De La Cruz enumerated

The sale or distribution of tobacco products is prohibited within 100 meters from any point of perimeter of the school, playground or any other facility frequented by minors, that is about the length of 3 basketball courts.