• Group seeks smoking ban in ports, terminals

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    Anti-smoking group New Vois Association of the Philippines has urged the transport sector to consider implementing a “no smoking policy” in all ports and terminals nationwide.

    In a statement over the weekend, NVAP president Emer Rojas said actions undertaken by a bus port at the Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City, show it is possible to implement such policy in a public place.

    The Araneta Center opened the modern bus port in Quezon City to house air-conditioned buses that travel to provinces in Southern Luzon and Bicol Region.

    “This ingenious policy adopted by the new bus terminal is clear proof that it is doable to protect travelers from the dangers brought by cigarette smoking,” Rojas said.

    “We hope that other transport terminals, airports, seaports, and even jeepney and tricycle terminals, will make it a point to prohibit cigarette smoking,” he added.

    Rojas pointed out that prohibition of smoking is dictated by law.

    “The Tobacco Regulation Act outlaws smoking in public conveyances and public places. This, therefore, means that there is already an existing law that needs to be implemented strictly,” he said.

    Section 5 of Republic Act 9211 provides that smoking shall be absolutely prohibited in public conveyances and public places.

    Public conveyances refer to modes of transportation servicing the general population, such as elevators, airplanes, buses, taxicabs, ships, jeepneys, light rail transits, tricycles and similar vehicles.

    On the other hand, public places refer to confined areas servicing the general public, such as public transportation terminals.

    REICELENE JOY N. IGNACIO

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