The no-smoking policy should start at home, where smokers ought to be protecting non-smoking members of the household from second-hand smoke.

For no-smoking advocacy group New Vois of the Philippines (NVAP), there must be a clear distinction in places around the home where a family member can smoke and where he should not.

“We encourage the fathers and mothers to also adopt tobacco control measures in their respective houses as the threat of secondhand smoke is not minimized, if not enhanced, if they are done in the comforts of their homes,” NVAP President Emer Rojas said.

Just like the Executive Order signed by President Rodrigo Duterte that designates smoking areas in public places, heads of the family should designate open areas for family members who smoke, and areas in which smoking is prohibited such as in bedrooms, kitchen, dining area and living rooms.

The EO No. 26 bans smoking in schools, offices, government buildings, parks and hospitals among others.

Open “smoking areas” within the home should be away from children and other non-smoking members of the family.

Secondhand smoke ups the risks for lung cancer as it has about 4,000 chemical compounds, 250 of them capable of causing disease.

“Because of smaller spaces with poor ventilation, the likelihood of second-hand smoke reaching and being inhaled by all family members is greater,” added Engr. Rojas.

But ultimately, the advocates say, the smoking members of the family should get help, such as trying the DOH Quitline 165-364 launched this June, or via text messaging by sending ‘STOPSMOKE’ to 09290165364.

Relatedly, the Department of Health (DOH) recently expressed their willingness to work with the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) in censoring scenes from shows or movies which show acts of smoking.

“We ask the MTRCB to consider censoring scenes depicting smoking in movies and TV shows, the way we asked them not to show scenes of bottle-feeding years back,” said Secretary of Health Paulyn Ubial. The measure is to prevent teen exposure to smoking practices. MIMS


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