Davao named first smoke-free metropolitan city in Southeast Asia

Kim Arveen Patria
Yahoo! Southeast Asia Newsroom
Smoking
A picture made available 26 March 2012 shows a Filipino holding a cigarette while walking past a child in Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines 21 March 2012. Despite widespread knowledge about the ills of smoking, an advertising ban on cigarettes and controls on the sale of tobacco products, more and more Filipino youths are lighting up, the National Youth Commission (NYC) warned. According to a recent study by the commission, nearly 40 percent of Filipinos between 13 and 15 years old, or 2.25 million people, smoked in 2011, up from 27.3 percent in 2007. EPA/ROLEX DELA PENA

If you're a smoker, you might as well drop the habit when in Davao. 

This, as Davao City has been named the first 100-percent smoke-free metropolitan in Southeast Asia, more than a decade after its implementation of a city-wide smoking ban
 
The Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (Seatca) July 7 recognized Davao City for successfully implementing its Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance passed in 2002.
 
Davao City should serve as a “model city in implementing law against smoking,” local media quoted Seatca director Bungon Ritthiphakdee as saying.
 
She was speaking at the sidelines of a regional workshop on best anti-smoking practices in Davao, attended by representatives from ASEAN member countries.
 
Seatca is a multi-sectoral alliance supporting ASEAN countries in developing tobacco control policies. It works closely with the ASEAN governments and the World Health Organization (WHO).
 
Davao last May further tightened its anti-smoking rules through the implementation of the New Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance.
 
Violators will now be given citation tickets under the updated policy, which now covers all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and shishas.
 
The new ordinance also broadens the coverage of the smoking ban, to include all public places, buildings and outdoor spaces, and public and government-owned vehicles.
 
Several local governments have put in place policies similar to Davao’s anti-smoking ban, in support of the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003.
 
Albay, for instance, has rolled out a provincial policy, even as five of its towns have local smoking bans. The province also recently made the biggest human no-smoking sign.
 
WHO earlier this year recognized President Benigno Aquino III and other ranking government officials for their efforts at curbing tobacco consumption among Pinoys.
 
The Philippines early this year rolled out higher taxes for tobacco and alcohol products through a controversial Aquino-backed revamp of the so-called “sin tax” law.