A Petition to Strictly Enforce the Smoking Ban in the Philippines
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The Philippines is one of the countries with highest number of smokers. Therefore, on the 16th of May in the year 2017, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte of the Philippines signed the executive order no.26, providing for the establishment of smoke-free environment on public and enclosed places. This executive order aims to protect the public health from the effects of smoking. Recent scientific studies have found the negative impacts of cigarettes to the health of both the smokers and the second-hand smokers. Furthermore, the prohibited acts are stated in the order, such as selling cigarettes to minors and smoking in public vehicles, and the designated and prohibited areas for smokers. Violators of the EO face fines ranging from 500 pesos to 10,000 pesos and possible imprisonment. Tayag stated that smokers may be reported by the public to DOH hotline (02) 711-1002. Moreover, a proper implementation of smoking ban is challenging to the government, as said by the DOH Health Secretary, “We know that there might be some LGUs (Local Government Unit) that will not comply with this. We are working doubly hard for the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) and LGUs to eventually put this in full force.” The Executive Order is currently imposed however, the Filipinos are not obeying it but rather the number of smokers are increasing as the time pass by. As the number of smokers increases, the number of people suffering from the diseases brought by smoking also increases. A study shows that 10,000 Filipinos die annually because of lung cancer. Hence, the smoking ban should strictly be followed and implemented to help decrease the number of deaths caused by smoking and to create a healthy environment for everyone.
According to the DOH Statistic Health Status Mortality,” ...Across all regions, only NCR showed a higher proportion of attended deaths by a medical doctor at the time of death than not. Diseases of the Heart had been consistently the number one cause of death for several years now. The 2013 number of deaths from this condition is 6,159 deaths (5.4%) higher than what was reported in 2012 which had 112,581 deaths. This year’s number of deaths from Diseases of the heart comprised 22.3 percent of total deaths. More males than females die from this cause. Out of 118,740 cases reported, 66,612 or 56 percent were males and 52,128 or 44 percent were females. Thus, the death sex ratio for Diseases of the Heart was 1.28 or 129 males in every 100 females. The next three diseases in the list which remained in their respective rankings for the past four years already were, Diseases of the Vascular System (68,325; 12.9%), Malignant Neoplasm (53,601; 10.1%) and Pneumonia (53,101; 10.0%).” This shows that the major cause of death in NCR since 2013 are diseases related to smoking. In addition to that, 80% of deaths caused by lung cancer are also caused by smoking. In fact, not all those who get lung cancer are smokers but people one who are exposed to the secondhand smoke and pollution (cancer.org).
Even though smoking ban is already being imposed in the Philippines, there are still violators who are not apprehended since there is no proper implementation regarding this matter. As a matter of fact, some of the violators are the police, who should be closely following the law and who the Filipinos trusted that would be responsible for apprehending these violators. Moreover, if there is no proper implementation of smoking ban in the Philippines, there is a huge possibility that the number of people suffering from pulmonary diseases and other diseases brought by smoking increases, which will be a threat to the health of the population. Additionally, despite all the warning and health precautions made as the design on the cigarette boxes, teenage smoking has still increased to a higher rate aside from the adult smokers. Frequent reasons on why teenagers indulge in the use of tobacco is because it can serve as a stress reliever and the pressure within their peers. Despite of the implementation of the smoking ban in the Philippines, these certain scenarios are still carried out, however it is not solely the fault of the teenager who buys cigarettes but also the vendors among the streets and alleys who illegally sells cigarettes to the underage or minors.
With the problems properly laid out, the proposed solutions would be:
1. CREATE A COUNCIL IN CHARGE OF APPREHENDING POLICEMEN WHO SMOKE IN PUBLIC PLACES
× Provide reasonable punishments for the undisciplined policemen who does not abide by the smoking ban.
× Stop the policemen from accepting any form of bribe that would allow them to dismiss those who sell cigarettes illegally and those who smoke cigarettes in undesignated areas.
× Save the environment and health of the citizens by taking into account even the undisciplined policemen who keep on violating the laws.
2. INFORM THE PUBLIC OF THE RISKS OF SMOKING ON HEALTH
× Provide seminars in villages, districts, or wards informing the Filipinos about the adverse effects of smoking on our health.
3. BAN ADVERTISEMENTS ON SMOKING
× Remove any kind of adverts promoting smoking in the Philippines.
× Any promotion of smoking shall be prohibited.
× Provide reasonable punishments against the company/anyone who encourages in any way the people to smoke.
4. SPREAD AWARENESS THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
× Spread more awareness advertisements including the pictures of health risks of smoking like lung cancer and emphysema.
5. POST FLYERS IN BULLETIN BOARDS AT SCHOOL TO EDUCATE STUDENTS REGARDING OF THE DANGER OF SMOKING
× Convince them to either not start smoking, or to quit if they are currently doing so.
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