Davao City first smoke-free Metropolitan City in Southeast Asia

Subscribe Now July 29, 2013 at 09:25pm

After successfully implementing its Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance enacted on November 9, 2002, Davao City has been named the first 100 percent smoke-free city in Southeast Asia by the Bangkok-based Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) on July 7, 2013.

Davao City is taking the lead among cities in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in implementing a smoke-free regulation in public places. Davao City’s anti-smoking campaign was expanded on May 31, 2012, to include a ban on use of electronic cigarettes in public areas. It prohibits smoking in public conveyances, government-owned vehicles, entertainment areas, workplaces, sidewalks and public buildings. People in Davao City may smoke only in their homes, private vehicles, and designated outdoor areas.

SEATCA is a multisectoral alliance working closely with ASEAN and World Health Organization in developing tobacco control policies. SEATCA envisions to see the 10 ASEAN member-states, including the Philippines, having picture warnings on cigarette packs, as it is one of the strategies to stop people from smoking. Four ASEAN members – Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, and Malaysia – are enforcing it, while Vietnam plans it by the end of 2013 and Indonesia by 2014.

Davao City hosted the regional meeting, “Smoke-Free Laws: Strengthening its Enforcement Towards Building Model Smoke-free Cities in the ASEAN,” on July 8-10, 2013. It was attended by anti-tobacco and health experts from governments, civil society, and academe from Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, who shared experiences in promoting smoke-free environments. Each country highlighted its best practices in advocating non-smoking law. The conference launched the “Smoke-Free Cities ASEAN Network” (SCAN) to strengthen policies and efforts to rid public places all over Southeast Asia of toxic tobacco smoke.

In 2010, Davao City was recognized by the United States of America-based Global Smoke-free Partnership for its anti-smoking effort, as the only city awardee among countries such as Colombia, Turkey, India, and Guatemala, and by the World Health Organization for taking forward the smoke-free agenda in the Philippines.

We congratulate Davao City headed by Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte and Vice Mayor Paolo Z. Duterte, Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance Director Bungon Ritthiphakdee, Davao City’s Anti-Smoking Task Force Head Dr. Domilyn C. Villareiz, and Davao City Council Secretary Charito N. Santos, and wish them the best and success in their programs to educate the public on the danger of smoking. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!

Source: tempo.com.ph

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