- President Rodrigo Duterte is being urged by an anti-smoking group to also fight smoking addiction, apart from intensifying his anti-illegal drug campaign
- Anti-smoking group the New Vois Association of the Philippines called on Duterte to start addressing the addiction caused by smoking
- Nearly 17.3 million Filipinos are currently addicted to smoking
President Rodrigo Duterte is being urged by an anti-smoking group to also fight smoking addiction, apart from intensifying his anti-illegal drug campaign; as millions of Filipinos are currently addicted to smoking.
According to NVAP President Emer Rojas, Duterte should also take strides in stopping more and more Filipinos from getting addicted to smoking cigarettes.
“First-time smokers turn into chain smokers because tobacco is addictive. Nearly 17.3 million Filipinos are currently addicted to smoking already. This simply means that such addiction must also be curbed by the government in a similar way that it endeavors to stop the drug menace,” said Rojas.
The NVAP president added that while illegal drugs are known to cause heart disease, respiratory issues, and liver disease among others, the aforementioned illnesses can also result from cigarette smoking.
Smoking-related diseases, he said, are lung cancer, heart ailments, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, tuberculosis, and stroke.
“We really need to stop the premature death of Filipinos due to tobacco addiction. Like any other addiction, this must be reduced or totally prevented,” Rojas stressed; noting that data shows almost 10 Filipinos die every hour due to smoking-related diseases.
With this, the official highlighted the importance of having an Executive Order (EO) that will prohibit smoking in all public places.
“We are calling on President Duterte to finally make a stand for Filipinos against the perennial lies of the tobacco companies by signing the much-awaited EO for a smoke-free Philippines,” he stated.
To note, under the EO, the government is expected to impose a ban on smoking in all public spaces, including parks, bus stations, inside vehicles, and even in designated indoor smoking areas such as in airport lounges and restaurants. Smokers are only allowed to puff outside of buildings in public places away from people.