May 24, 2017, 8:25 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07381 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.39851 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03597 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.32504 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02683 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03597 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04019 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.61957 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03496 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00756 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.20217 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0201 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02784 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13867 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06563 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0201 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.30125 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20751 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 402.33121 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04015 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0271 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01953 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 13.47267 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13847 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 58.35812 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.51125 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0201 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.96925 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.47339 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.57074 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13296 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.94574 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.17205 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27938 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.36314 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46021 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01786 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0421 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01545 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01546 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08669 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.90334 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 181.20981 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14748 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.11013 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15644 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.47082 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13208 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.33903 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.50744 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 267.16239 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0719 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.29803 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.73392 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 651.98958 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0008 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.60008 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01424 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.23286 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.07094 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.36441 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 81.2902 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 9.04341 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 18.08682 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 22.44775 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00609 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01648 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.24598 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 164.32878 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 30.27532 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.06873 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 1.84887 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26588 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06127 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01247 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02803 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19542 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.36586 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.09586 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 27.49196 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.43248 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16115 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 7.19453 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.69695 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.3115 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.4168 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37541 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08626 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26598 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.33039 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59385 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16751 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.07195 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02866 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00773 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0201 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06572 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06587 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.10309 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07495 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 111.9996 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07317 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0813 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.13651 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.46403 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07535 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15881 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26967 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13384 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17452 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02785 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01546 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.44626 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 149.31673 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 11.03296 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 437.5784 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17528 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.34928 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26605 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.69031 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04822 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04643 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0716 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13463 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60344 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 44.81511 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52904 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 72.62862 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0201 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56692 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 76.36656 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20045 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 454.6624 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.15394 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05199 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 11.70539 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05426 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 11.75181 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 2.11917 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 5.02271 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2661 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 104.2906 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.27291 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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