LGUs urged to strictly implement smoking ban

CEBU CITY, June 5 (PIA) -- The Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas urged the local government units (LGUs) to strictly implement the smoking ban in their respective communities.

DOH-7 Medical Officer IV Dr. Dino Caing during the Kapihan sa PIA virtual interview said “we need a strong political will down to the LGUs to implement the laws and ordinances to ban smoking.” 

DOH-7 Medical Officer IV Dr. Dino Caing (L) says there is a need for local government units to strictly implement the smoking ban in their respective localities. (PIA7) 

In 2016, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 26 for establishments to provide a smoke-free environment in public and enclosed places.

The LGUs are directed to implement the said provision to prohibit smoking inside enclosed public places, including public vehicles and other means of transportation and other enclosed areas.

Caing revealed that the leading cause of death now is pneumonia, considering the statistics that “almost 40 percent of males have the history of smoking compared to women which is only 6 percent.”

He explained that smoking reduces lung capacity and increases the risk of many respiratory infections and can increase the severity of respiratory disease.

“During this pandemic, smokers are at higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 that may result in death,” he added.

Caing said COVID-19 is an infectious disease that primarily attacks the lungs, and smoking damages lung function, making it harder for the body to fight against coronavirus and other respiratory diseases. 

DOH-7 is also expecting the increase of smokers during the pandemic as most of the people are staying at home.

The health department is reaching out to the LGUs to help them in the implementation of anti-smoking policies, especially in monitoring cases of smoking in the region.

DOH continues to conduct virtual seminars or fora to in their campaign for the smoking ban. 

Those who want to quit smoking are encouraged to avail of the tobacco cessation services in their areas, together with their family, for consultation and guidance on how to properly quit smoking. (hfg/PIA7)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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