Smoke-free areas at home pushed


The New Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP) has advised families to initiate smoke-free policies at home if they are to prevent non-smoking members from being threatened by second-hand smoke (SHS).

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

Rojas added that families should be starting to set their own rules in their homes where members will be allowed or disallowed to smoke.

As a guide, he said, certain parts of the houses should be designated as smoke-free areas, such as bedrooms, kitchen, dining area and living room.

On the other hand, Rojas added, open areas will be suitable as places for smoking family members as long as they are away from other non-smokers especially children.

He said adopting smoke-free policies at home is necessary because homes are usually smaller and have poorer ventilation as compared to public places.

“While the Executive Order for smoke-free environments in public and enclosed spaces does not cover residential areas, we can do something to allow this laudable policy of the Duterte administration to be felt even at home. Let us all do our share to enjoy healthy living,” the tobacco smoke-free advocate added.

He had admitted that he got addicted to smoking cigarettes that led to laryngeal cancer.

The Department of Health (DoH) had foreseen the implication of Executive Order (EO) 26 for cigarette smokers and non-smokers whom the law wants to protect.

When EO 26 was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last May, DoH spokesman Dr. Eric Tayag said the world of smokers may soon become smaller, making it difficult for them to continue their smoking habits.

The Health department made that warning, saying the law provides that business establishments should establish a designated smoking area for smokers if they will not classify their establishment as “No Smoking Area.”

Tayag said it is expected that in search for a place where a smoker can continue his habit, there is a probability that the smoker will then smoke at home.

According to him, smoker’s family members can be exposed to the chemicals released in smoking cigarettes that are dangerous to the health of non-smoker who may inhale second-hand smoke.

“So, our recommendation is this, the head of the families should also implement a rule in terms of where they will place the designated smoking area (DSA) to protect their family members,” Tayag said.

Meanwhile, in recognition that smoking is also a form of addiction, family members who smoke are encouraged to avail of the DoH Quitline 165-364 for their family’s sake.

Under EO 26, smoking is prohibited in schools, offices, government buildings, restaurants, churches, parks, sidewalks and transportation terminals, among others.

Based on the Global Adult Tobacco Survey-Philippines 2015, second-hand smoke exposure at home among adults is at 34.7 percent.

On the other hand, the Global Youth Tobacco Survey- Philippines 2015 also showed that second-hand smoke exposure at home among the youth is at 38.3 percent.


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