Smoke-free schools campaign continues as class opening begins

From the Department of Health

Proclamation No. 183, s. 1993 declares the month of June as the No-Smoking Month in the country.

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The Department of Health (DOH), in observance of June as No Smoking Month, today strongly reminded partner agencies, schools, universities, colleges, and parents to religiously enforce a 100% smoke-free school facilities as most classes in the country starts in June.

Health Secretary Janette P. Loreto-Garin warned on the worsening smoking habit of Filipinos citing the 2014 first quarter Social Weather Station (SWS) Report which revealed that 9 in 10 (90%) of smokers smoke cigarettes daily and they smoke about 10 sticks per day. Moreover, The Philippine Global Adult Tobacco Survey conducted in 2009 revealed that 28.3% (17.3 million) of the population aged 15 years old and over currently smoke tobacco.

“Teachers should act as role models for students and they should remind the youth on the hazards of smoking and strictly implement a 100% smoke-free learning institution,” Garin said, adding that under Section 10 of the Republic Act 9211 (known as Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003), the sale of tobacco products within school perimeters is prohibited.

The health chief added that smoking is banned inside and outside school premises. She added that sale of cigarette and other tobacco products within 100 meters from the school perimeter, playground, or other facility frequented by minors are prohibited. Likewise, sale of cigarettes to minors in stores and by ambulant vendors around schools is prohibited.

However, as stated in RA9211, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has the power to implement such kind of access restrictions to tobacco products.

The penalties for violation on all restrictions range from a fine of not less than P500 to not more than P400,000 and imprisonment ranging from 30 days to three years depending on the seriousness  of the violation. Moreover, business permits and licences may also be revoked or cancelled.

Meanwhile, the DOH continues its effort to promote the smoking ban in public places by discouraging Tobacco Advertising, Promotion, and Sponsorship (TAPS) on different LGUs, as well as conducting smoking cessation programs and sustaining smoking ban in all government offices and hospitals.

“With an estimated 10 Filipinos dying every hour due to diseases from tobacco products, it is wise never to start the addictive habit of smoking,” Garin concluded.

doh.gov.ph