November 18, 2017, 10:57 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07227 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.22452 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03503 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34355 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02607 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03503 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03935 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.64187 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0327 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00742 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.29713 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01968 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02667 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13499 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0645 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01968 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28247 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20681 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 393.93939 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03931 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02511 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01951 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.40988 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13051 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 59.13813 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.08422 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01968 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.83943 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42677 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.47954 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12411 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.94451 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.25075 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2609 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34652 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.53227 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01667 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04117 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0149 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01491 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0895 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.92483 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 177.2137 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14447 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.05313 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15372 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46232 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12613 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.21291 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.19481 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 266.09603 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06915 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27847 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.9634 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 693.36875 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.02755 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.47068 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01392 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.21558 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03994 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.37194 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 79.10272 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.33333 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.70956 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 21.5429 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00594 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01614 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.52952 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 163.2625 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.73239 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.02145 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.44392 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27873 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05999 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01221 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02676 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18535 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34406 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.02145 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 26.82015 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.01181 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15831 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.91558 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.66706 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30638 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.09681 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37473 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08186 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27564 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 7.02479 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60232 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16201 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03758 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02897 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00757 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01968 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06374 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06312 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.07261 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07062 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 111.06651 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07477 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07746 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.16854 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.37721 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07379 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15368 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26269 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13104 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16586 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02669 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01491 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43695 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 149.94097 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.99961 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 408.72688 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17218 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.13341 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2756 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64542 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04872 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04538 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07647 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13045 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59144 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.97875 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52076 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.36954 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01968 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57989 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 158.20543 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19628 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 446.89099 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.12515 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05043 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.9329 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05313 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.93861 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.9754 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.91834 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27568 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 102.11531 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.12121 Zimbabwe dollar

National smoking ban

HEALTH Justice Philippines, a vigilant think tank and advocacy group with legal expertise in tobacco control and health promotion and a Bloomberg Awardee for Global Tobacco Control, sent out a press release May 12, 2017 praising “Davao City Vices Regulation Unit for its strict enforcement of smoking ban and apprehension of 4,487 violators since its formation last month.”

 “We commend the local government of Davao City and its Vices Regulation Unit for strictly enforcing the provisions of its pertinent local ordinances and national and international laws banning smoking in public spaces. Davao City has been recognized by no less than the World Health Organization for its landmark tobacco control ordinance, and since then it has continued setting a sterling example in crafting and implementing tobacco control measures for cities across the country and the whole world to emulate,” said Mary Ann Fernandez-Mendoza, president and trustee of HealthJustice.

“We hope that President Duterte will soon sign the ‘smoke-free’ Executive Order that will not only strengthen the enforcement of existing smoking bans, but also direct local governments to pattern their anti-smoking ordinances after that of Davao, which includes a ‘no smoking indoors’ policy,” she added.

***

Cebu in the 1990s,expanding on its existing ban on smoking in public establishments then, proposed its laudable goal to make Cebu city a smoke-free city by year 2006. I was among its staunchest supporters and stated then that achieving this would earn Cebu the enviable distinction of being one of the healthiest cities and tourist spots in the world. Unfortunately, wisdom, health, and medical science were no match to the power of money and political correctness.

I remember that there were some brainless city legislators who wanted to amend the ordinance to allow smoking after 9 p.m. and for the creation of smoking areas in shopping malls, restaurants, etc.

Did these obviously ignorant officials think that active and passive smoking would only cause cancers, cardiovascular illnesses, and lung diseases before 9 p.m. and that smoking after 9 p.m. would be safe? Did they honestly think that the smoking areas (within a building) will prevent the 4000 harmful (200 of them cancer-causing) chemicals in tobacco smoke from getting into the ventilation system and expose and hurt everyone in the premises, including non-smokers and children?

What in this issue was NOT clear? I bet even the kids in the kindergarten can see how ludicrous these proposed amendments are. 

Unless the designated room is air-tight and totally excluded from the main building (of shopping malls, restaurants, stores, hospitals, public libraries, theaters, the workplace, etc.), and has a ventilation system of its own, it would be ineffective and useless. Providing a smoking area within the same building with one ventilation system is like designating a urinating area in a swimming pool. This is the same scientific and medical principle why the smoking ban in commercial airplanes also includes the toilets, besides all the cabins and the cockpit. A simple common sense.

The issue is crystal clear. Smoking and second hand-smoking or passive smoking maim and kill millions in countries around the world, the Philippines included. Spraying poison in the air, as in passive smoking, adversely affects everyone in the area.

The simplest, totally cost-free, and medically effective solution is to allow smoking ONLY outside of, and a distance from, public buildings. What could be more obvious? A national smoking ban, while unpopular and controversial, would provide an immeasurable boost to people’s and the nation’s health.

While I abhor smoking and inhaling secondhand tobacco smoke for health reasons, I defend the right of smokers to smoke. That is their constitutional right…so long as the exercise of that right does not offend or hurt the people around them and infringe upon the rights of others. After all, non-smokers have rights too: not to be exposed to the dangers of secondhand smoke. Where there is a conflict, the right of the non-smoker prevails. This is an accepted legal tenet.

What is secondhand smoke?

Secondhand smoke is the fume that one involuntarily inhales after someone who smokes exhales it (called mainstream smokes), or the fume that goes directly to the atmosphere from the burning tobacco (cigarette, pipe or cigar) called side stream smoke. When non-smokers breathe in these smokes or fumes from other people’s cigarettes, cigars or pipes, this is involuntarily inhalation called passive smoking. As stated earlier, tobacco smoke contains about 4000 chemicals, 200 of them known poisons and carcinogens. Smoking around people is similar to spraying known poison gases into the atmosphere, victimizing and posing even greater health hazards to non-smokers.

Does passive smoking cause cancer?

Yes, active and passive smoking cause cancers, besides bronchitis, premature births, smaller babies with higher risk for impaired mental development, respiratory illnesses among children, emphysema, heart attack, and stroke. In the United States, cancer victims of smoking, and family members of smokers who died from cigarette-related illness, have sued cigarette manufacturing companies, and have won millions in awards. While they vehemently denied it before, cigarette companies today have admitted in public that tobacco causes cancers and other lung illnesses. The courts have likewise ruled in a similar fashion in favor of victims of passive smoking (as in the airline stewardess’ case). In 1986, the Surgeon General of the United States reported that involuntary (passive) smoking can cause lung cancer in healthy non-smokers. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has now classified secondhand smoke as a known carcinogen (cancer-causing agent).

If we, as a people and as a nation, are really serious in eliminating all the smoking-related killer diseases that snuff out more than 240 lives a day, yes, a day, not a month, causing the loss of loved ones and family devastation, promulgating a national smoking ban truly makes sense.

But don’t hold your breath. History shows that majority of our elected politicians, leaders we voted for to protect us, do not have balls and the wisdom and the will to eliminate this vicious serial killer amidst us. The illnesses and deaths from tobacco far exceed the morbidity and mortality from illegal drugs.

Let’s see if President Rodrigo R. Duterte can extinguish this political insanity that is holding the people’s health hostage.

***

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