September 24, 2017, 7:38 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07205 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.19737 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03473 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33883 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02472 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03508 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03924 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.60624 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03223 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0074 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.03414 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01962 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02647 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13537 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06149 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01962 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.26104 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20051 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 392.78006 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03919 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02419 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01905 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.25231 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12921 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 57.14342 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.22072 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01962 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.81263 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42857 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.49225 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12231 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.92211 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.19774 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25715 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34589 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45831 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01644 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03953 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01454 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01447 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08679 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.87895 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 174.63213 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14311 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.97705 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15314 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45756 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12286 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.19973 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.08986 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 260.48656 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0688 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27132 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.89582 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 658.62271 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.10712 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.56229 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01388 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.20489 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.02178 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.3433 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 79.4585 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.05435 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.65745 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 22.18972 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00592 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01609 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.67785 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 162.84088 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.53698 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 2.99588 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.29351 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26015 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05981 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01217 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02654 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18329 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34501 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.00647 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 26.68236 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.14597 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15773 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 7.0826 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.65097 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30135 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.05376 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34969 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08232 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2598 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.92564 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.58623 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15332 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.01197 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02683 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00755 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01962 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06369 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06268 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06494 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07028 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 111.25171 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07269 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0755 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.13354 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.2576 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07357 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15204 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2669 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13067 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15655 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02649 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01455 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43567 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 147.14538 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.928 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 402.77613 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17167 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.10359 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2598 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64921 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04791 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0432 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06876 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13239 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59217 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.90818 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51422 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 70.57092 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01962 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56582 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 158.34804 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19569 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 445.73278 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0155 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04907 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.773 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05297 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.75142 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.95017 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.90386 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25991 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 101.81479 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.10025 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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