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PIA Press Release
Monday, January 02, 2012


Smoking ban gains positive public acceptance in Nueva Vizcaya

by Ben Moses Ebreo

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, January 2 (PIA) -- The implementation and enforcement of the ‘Smoke-Free Ordinance’ in the province has earned positive public response last year, a Social Weather Station (SWS) survey here bared.

“The results are more than satisfactory and therefore, we are on the right track in implementing this legislative measure,” said Dr. Maria Soledad Antonio, chief of the legislative liaison division of the Department of Health(DOH) in Cagayan Valley.

Antonio presented the survey conducted in August last year. It was commissioned by the DOH and the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use with technical support from World Lung Foundation.’

It showed that Novo Vizcayanos are now more aware on the ill-effects of smoking and are less exposed to second hand smoke in public places, she said.

Results of the survey revealed that less people are exposed to second hand smoke in restaurants, from 44 percent in 2010 to 28 percent in 2011. In public utility vehicles, there was also a decrease in exposure from 67 to 47 percent while in government buildings, the figure also dropped from 35 to 24 percent.

The survey also indicated that Novo Vizcayanos are highly aware on the ill-effects of smoking with a big majority believing that smoking can cause lung cancer - 98 percent, heart disease - 89 percent, brain damage – 75 percent and infertility – 38 percent.

Survey results also revealed that 62 percent of current smokers have tried to quit smoking in the past 30 days. Family members have also encouraged their loved ones to quit with 74 percent of smokers saying further that family members have tried to stop them from smoking.

Public support for the ‘Smoke-Free Ordinance’ is also high with 94 percent of respondents in favour of the law. Almost three-fourths or 71 percent of respondents also perceived that there is a big health benefit on the enactment of the ordinance.

“The province has implemented the smoke-free ordinance for a year and we can already see results. If we sustain the strong implementation of the law, we will be able to achieve much more,” Antonio said.

The ‘Smoke – Free Ordinance’ authored by board members Edgardo Balgos, Efren Quiben and Merlie Talingdan was signed into law in May 2010 by Gov. Luisa Cuaresma.

The ordinance prohibits smoking in public places and vehicles. It penalizes violators of P1,500.00 for the first offense, P3,000.00 for the second offense and P5,000.00 for the third offense. A community service is also offered for those who cannot afford or refuse to pay the imposed fines.(TCB/BME/PIA Nueva Vizcaya)

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