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Palawan hotels, restaurants support DOH’s smoke-free drive PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 02 June 2007

PUERTO PRINCESA - Soon, smoke-free hotels will be the “in” thing in this city.

This, after a number of hotels and restaurants here have committed to ban smoking in their establishments.

"We are considering this turn of events as a high point in the government’s campaign for a healthy lifestyle. Smoking is indeed deadly, even in its second-hand form, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a press conference held at the Legend Hotel here Thursday afternoon.

Duque was here and joined the 182 health officials and different stakeholders during Thursday’s observance of World No Tobacco Day themed “Dismantling the myths on second hand smoke, Second Hand Smoke Kills”.

The Framework Convention Alliance Philippines (FCAP) said at least three hotels and restaurants in Palawan, including the Princesa Inn, Circon Lodge and Skylight Apartelle committed to impose total smoking ban.

The FCAP also disclosed that 12 other local establishments in the province have designated specific areas in their places where smoking will be allowed.

These are the Whiteview Paradise Hotel, Asturias Hotel, Rengel Hotel, Pagdayon Inn, Tropical Sun Inn, D Lucky Garden Inn, Casa Linda Inn and Restaurant, Lola Itang Pension, Payuyo Pension, Albon Pension and Audissie Pensionne.

To further stress the danger brought about by passive or second-hand smoking, Duque said this can be as fatal as smoking as there are as many non-smokers who develop lung cancer as smokers themselves.

”There is no doubt that second-hand smoke is dangerous. In fact, it will take six typhoon ‘Milenyos’ to clean up a smoke place because ventilators, ionizers and other similar devices simply cannot do all the work,” the DOH chief noted.

Second-hand smoke, health authorities said, refers to the smoke from burning tobacco products generated by smokers.

Both smokers and non-smokers are exposed to tobacco smoke's harmful effects as this contaminates the air, especially in enclosed spaces.

Health authorities also revealed that there are 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, more than 50 of which are known to cause cancer in humans.

Aside from cancer, they said second-hand smoke also causes heart disease and many serious respiratory and cardiovascular diseases in children and adults.

To date, the economic burden in the Philippines caused by first-hand smokers alone reaches about six billion dollars annually.

In the said press conference, Dr. Jean Marc Olive, World Health Organization country representative, said globally, almost 1.3 billion people are smokers.

Of the number, Olive pointed out, 650 million people have died due to tobacco-related diseases.

For his part, city health officer Dr. Juancho Monserate said the city government under Mayor Edward Hagedorn’s leadership strongly supports the campaign against smoking in all public places, citing two ordinances - Anti-Smoking Ordinance and Clean Air Ordinance - approved by the city council. (PNA)


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