President-apparent Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III of the Liberal Party said he would no longer debate about his smoking habit with groups seeking to make him an anti-smoking poster boy.
And he isn’t quitting either – at least not at this time.
Aquino bared that he could finish a pack a day, and the most that he did was three packs due to tension during the snap elections in 1985. Aquino pointed out that he ran and won with the people knowing that he was a smoker. His brand is Marlboro Lights menthol.
“At the appropriate time, I will stop. So long as I am within the law and I don’t inconvenience other people, I think this is part of the little freedom left for me,” Aquino said.
His habit might also cause security problems once he becomes Malacañang’s main tenant.
Quoting an anti-smoking advocate, Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral on Tuesday said it may be difficult to secure the incoming president if he is outdoors, puffing cigarettes away. It will be hard to secure him if he decides to smoke 10 meters away from a government building such as Malacañang.
Under Republic Act 9211 and the Civil Service Commission, smoking may constitute a violation of office rules and procedures. Aquino, a known smoker, had said he is not keen on being a poster boy for anti-smoking advocates, at least at this time. Last weekend, anti-tobacco groups urged Aquino, a smoker, to be a poster boy of sorts for their anti-smoking crusade.
In a related development, the Department of Health (DOH) issued yesterday an administrative order giving tobacco companies until mid-July to put graphic health warnings on tobacco product packages.
In a launching ceremony, Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral said the agency deemed it necessary to come up with the administrative order to curb cigarette-smoking which kills some 240 Filipinos a day.
But I wonder why the Philippine Government (DOH) isn’t doing something at the excessive drinking of Filippinos. I am not sure of the figures but I know that NOT all men are smoking. Many don’t. But when it is drinking time (which is often; and already in the morning hours) practically all men are joining until they are drunk and do not know anymore what they are doing. There are probably no numbers on how many people die every day of drinking habbits / problems. People get violent and sometimes murder eachother or their family members when they come home drunk. And how many people have liver problems because of heavy drinking?
This might be something for the government to think about!