Republic Act 9211: The Smoking Ban
I wasn’t aware till recently that a smoking ban was being enforced not only in Makati (as everyone generally knows), but nationwide. The Republic Act 9211, also known as the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003, was signed into law last June 2003 to be in sync with the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The purpose of this act is to protect citizens from the hazards of tobacco smoke, to regulate all tobacco advertisements and sponsorship, to promote a healthful environment, and to assist Filipino tobacco farmers in cultivating alternative agricultural crops to prevent economic dislocation. The Republic Act of 9211 is an excellent law because it doesn’t strip the citizens, smokers or non-smokers alike, from their own perspective rights. In section 5 of this act, the bill states that smoking is prohibited in all public places. This is good because it protects non-smokers from second hand smoking, which is known to cause lung cancer and is very hazardous for the health. This way the health of the non-smoker isn’t affected in any way. The public places where they implement this law are pretty appropriate too like in hospitals/clinics/ health centers /nursing homes because it prevents sick people to get even sicker; in restaurants and conference halls because it allows people to have room to breath in and not die from smoke suffocation; in centers of youth activity like schools because it helps children develop strong and healthy lungs. However, there are smokers who complain about this smoking ban being harsh and that strips their right to smoke. After all, it is their own body that would be affected anyway. The thing is, their right isn’t being stripped at all. The government isn’t banning them from smoking at all. In section 6 of the bill, it states that all enclosed places that are open to the general public, the owner or administrator of such places should establish smoking areas. This means that...
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