Smokers have rights too

| September 11, 2017

A consumer advocacy group in the Philippines on Sunday bewailed what it sees as the growing discrimination against smokers and appealed for a fair enforcement of new anti-smoking rules, according to a story in The Manila Standard.

“Smoking is not an illicit activity under our laws,” said Anton Israel, president of the Pro-Yosi group. “And smokers have rights too.”

Israel said that Executive Order (EO) 26, under which smoking bans were introduced, applied only to smoking indoors or in enclosed places. Smoking was allowed in open areas such as sidewalks and parking lots.

“It is wrong and irresponsible to say that the EO imposes an absolute smoking ban,” he said. “The restrictions are only for enclosed places.

“We recognize the responsibility of the state to protect non-smokers and minors from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, but we also demand that the right of smokers to enjoy a legal product in a non-obstructive environment be respected,” Israel said.

Pro-Yosi praised the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for saying that business establishments must have designated smoking areas and that smoking in open spaces was allowed.

And the organization expressed hope that the DILG would clarify the issue further with local government units, which are tasked with enforcing EO 26.

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Category: Breaking News, People, Regulation

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