May 23, 2018, 1:26 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07022 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04971 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03427 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46553 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02521 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03403 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03824 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.6174 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0318 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00722 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 33.47954 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01912 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02536 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13117 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07028 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01912 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.30067 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19226 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 382.79159 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0382 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02445 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01907 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.17151 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12202 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 54.9522 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.70612 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01912 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.78834 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.41644 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.3891 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12076 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.94646 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.21398 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25367 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34149 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52008 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01621 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03927 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01423 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01423 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08859 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.89503 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 172.06501 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14027 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.93289 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15004 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45428 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11999 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.19751 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.1499 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 271.08987 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06827 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.30228 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.63862 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 804.0153 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 1.99809 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.38145 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0135 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.12293 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.91587 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.30863 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 77.2065 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.91109 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.20841 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 20.57725 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00577 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01568 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.29369 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 159.08222 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 28.77629 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.0153 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.55793 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24207 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05829 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01187 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02595 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18017 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31807 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.99293 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 25.85086 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 45.83174 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15455 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.76864 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.65679 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29771 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.64149 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37878 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07606 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24208 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.88337 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59598 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15388 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.08185 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02752 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00735 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01912 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0627 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06117 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.20841 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06955 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 107.60994 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06959 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07495 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.17737 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.18375 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0717 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15039 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26023 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34331 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16581 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02562 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01424 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42459 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 149.13958 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.7457 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 397.36138 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1673 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.84665 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24215 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.61434 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04906 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04426 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08746 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12714 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57119 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.51816 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.49847 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.12811 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01912 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59981 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 152.58126 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 1501.96941 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 435.35373 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.08088 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0494 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.62849 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05163 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.62849 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.92218 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.7782 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.24216 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 99.22562 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.91969 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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