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Smokers Violate the Rights of Non-Smokers. Period.

September 11, 2012

UPDATE: You may now show your support by signing the petition here—https://www.change.org/petitions/philippine-congress-senate-supreme-court-1-ban-cigarette-smoking-within-500-feet-of

Our family friend lives in Eastwood (by Megaworld), a smoker’s haven where none of them are penalized even when they smoke in “No-Smoking” zones.  These smokers clearly violate Republic Act No. 9211, Sections 5 and 6:

SECTION 5. Smoking Ban in Public Places.—Smoking shall be absolutely prohibited in the following public places:

a. Centers of youth activity such as playschools, preparatory schools, elementary schools, high schools, colleges and universities, youth hostels and recreational facilities for persons under eighteen (18) years old;

b. Elevators and stairwells;

c. Locations in which fire hazards are present, including gas stations and storage areas for flammable liquids, gas, explosives or combustible materials;

d. Within the buildings and premises of public and private hospitals, medical, dental, and optical clinics, health centers, nursing homes, dispensaries and laboratories;

e. Public conveyances and public facilities including airport and ship terminals and train and bus stations, restaurants and conference halls, except for separate smoking areas; and

f. Food preparation areas.

SECTION 6. Designated Smoking and Non-smoking Areas.—In all enclosed places that are open to the general public, private workplaces and other places not covered under the preceding section, where smoking may expose a person other than the smoker to tobacco smoke, the owner, proprietor, operator, possessor, manager or administrator of such places shall establish smoking and non-smoking areas. Such areas may include a designated smoking area within the building, which may be in an open space or separate area with proper ventilation, but shall not be located within the same room that has been designated as a non-smoking area.

All designated smoking areas shall have at least one (1) legible and visible sign posted, namely “SMOKING AREA” for the information and guidance of all concerned. In addition, the sign or notice posted shall include a warning about the health effects of direct or secondhand exposure to tobacco smoke. Non-Smoking areas shall likewise have at least one (1) legible and visible sign, namely: “NON-SMOKING AREA” or “NO SMOKING.”

Access Restrictions

SECTION 7. Vending Machines, Self-Service Facilities.—Unless the vending machine has a mechanism for age verification, the sale or distribution of tobacco products to minors by means of a vending machine or any self-service facility or similar contraption or device is prohibited, except at point-of-sale establishments.

SECTION 8. Retailer Compliance with Respect to Self-Service Facilities.—Each retailer shall ensure that all tobacco-related self-service displays or facilities, advertising, labeling and other items that are located in the establishment of the retailer and that do not comply with the requirements of this Act are removed or are brought into compliance with the requirements of this Act.

We expect PENALTIES to be implement on these people…

SECTION 32. Penalties.—The following penalties shall apply:

a. Violation of Sections 5 and 6.—On the first offense, a fine of not less than Five hundred pesos (Php500.00) but not more than One thousand pesos (Php1,000.00) shall be imposed.

On the second offense, a fine of not less than One thousand pesos (Php1,000.00) but not more than Five thousand pesos (Php5,000.00) shall be imposed.

On the third offense, in addition to a fine of not less than Five thousand pesos (Php5,000.00) but not more than Ten thousand pesos (Php10,000.00), the business permits and licenses to operate shall be cancelled or revoked.

However, Municipal and Police authorities IGNORE these violations from all their smokers in Eastwood, in favor of the business establishments who condone the acts of their careless employees.  Meanwhile, MMDA officers are only present during a short time in the day, and when these cats are away the dirty mice go out to play, over and over and over.

These smokers also “bully” residents of Eastwood who can’t even take a breath of fresh air when they are outside, because smokers would huff and puff in PUBLIC walkways and halls or anywhere they please.  They expect non-smokers to accept their violations and inhale their second-hand smoke, without remorse for how they affect non-smokers, or without respecting their rights to CLEAN AIR.  (Who says adults can’t be bullied?  The Anti-bullying bill must be extended to individuals who impose their careless acts on others through persistent violations of the law.)

One night, our family friend tried to be a responsible citizen and approached two smokers who were smoking in a No-Smoking area, there was a clear sign beside them.  He kindly asked them to observe the law and smoke in designated areas instead.  Our family friend was beaten up.  Not only that, it was a female who started the cussing and throwing of punches… shame on the bitch.

He went to the police to report the incident, but they were cold on his case when he did not give them “bribe” money.  His case has been weeks old and still no feedback from the Police.

What kind of a shitty place is EASTWOOD when they don’t take care of their residents and encourage the violation of Republic Act No. 9211?

What kind of call centers do band-aid solutions of posting useless no-smoking signs without fixing the real problem of truly enforcing penalties on violators?

What kind of a GENERATION are we raising when these kids no longer respect their elders?

EVERY KIND OF SELFISH AND PROUD ATTITUDE FROM THE FILIPINO YOUTH (MANY OF THEM WORKING IN CALL CENTERS), AND ANY FORM OF CORRUPTION BY OUR AUTHORITIES ARE FOUND IN EASTWOOD, QUEZON CITY.   THIS IS NOT A PLACE FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO LIVE A HEALTHY LIFE.  DON’T BUY A CONDO UNIT HERE IF YOU HAVE ANY KIND OF MEDICAL CONDITION BECAUSE THE ENVIRONMENT HERE WILL NOT HELP YOU GET BETTER.

And I say this to smokers everywhere.  Whenever you walk along public areas such as the sidewalk or crossing the street, or ride in trikes and jeeps, or if you merely sit at tables outside a restaurant, don’t think you own the area and that you are free to smoke.  You are NOT entitled to total freedom.  You can’t expect people who don’t want to inhale your smoke to travel or live elsewhere only to avoid you.  Eighty percent of the people who die from smoking are actually second-hand smokers, do you even care that you contribute to that?  Whatever reason or rationalization you have for your perverse sense of pleasure, it causes you to be filled with pride that you negatively affect non-smokers around you.  And the moment you beat up a an elderly man for vocalizing what is actually his right to point out because YOU violated the law… then you become even LESS of a citizen.  I for one, have lost respect for people like you.

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