MANILA –The New Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP) called on Manilenos to immediately follow the example set by former president and now Manila mayor Joseph Estrada to quit smoking for good in order to avoid tobacco-related illnesses.
NVAP President Emer Rojas said they are hopeful that Estrada’s initiative will discourage residents as well as visitors of the nation’s capital to drop their smoking habits.
“In accordance with the appeal of the former president, we are hoping that those residing in Manila as well as those going to the city for business or pleasure, will immediately quit smoking,” said Rojas.
The former smoker who turned as active advocate in prevention of smoking said that quitting smokingwill not only prevent them from developing smoking-related illnesses but will be beneficial also to the welfare of their respective families.
“Quitting will also prevent their families from acquiring diseases borne out of second-hand smoke,” he explained.
NVAP made the call after Estrada ordered the strict implementation of the city ordinance prohibiting smoking in all public places in Manila.
Under City Ordinance No. 7748, smoking is prohibited in all enclosed areas like hospitals, schools, public buildings, shopping malls, and other public places in Manila.
“We applaud Mayor Erap for having the initiative to share his renaissance of veering away from his known smoking habit to his constituents,” said Rojas.
It can be recalled that Estrada had dropped the vice after he was hospitalized last December due to asthma attacks stemming from smoking, among others.
And with the City of Manila taking a cue from Davao City’s own anti-smoking ordinance, the NVAP head expressed hopes that other cities will soon follow suit.
“One of the first was the home city of President Rodrigo Duterte, now it’s the capital city of the country. These developments should definitely encourage other local government units to adopt their own tobacco control policies sooner rather than later,” said Rojas.
Meanwhile, he said they are hoping that the actions undertaken by Manila would rekindle the interest of Malacanang in finally issuing the Executive Order (EO) for a smoke-free Philippines.
Rojas said they continue to be optimistic that Duterte will soon sign the long-promised EO that will ban smoking in all public places in the country.
“We remain hopeful that President Duterte will finally fulfill his campaign promise that he will ban smoking nationwide in order to protect his countrymen from acquiring smoking-related illnesses,” he said.
To recall, the “smoke-free Philippines” EO was originally set to be signed by Duterte back in October as relayed by Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Paulyn Ubial.
The proposed EO is a replication of the Davao City ordinance promulgated during Duterte’s time as city mayor.
It is a public knowledge that the highest official of the land had suffered in 2002 one of the disease that may surface if one continues with the habit of smoking –Buerger’s disease.
Buerger’s disease, also known as thromboangiitis obliterans is a rarer condition that inflames the arteries and the veins in the arms and legs. Blood vessels swell, reducing blood flow and eventually blocking blood to form clots.
The condition prompted the President to quit smoking.