They have this old saying that smokers never grow old because they die young.
Sadly, this issue on young people getting themselves addicted to the habit of smoking has come at an alarming state here in the Philippines.
For one, I don't remember any law which sets age limits for those who can purchase cigarettes in stores (unlike liquors where only ages 18 and above are allowed to purchase). You just have to go to small sari-sari stores and stalls nearby schools and universities and you will definitely witness as young as high school students puffing smoke freely just outside the school premises.
On May 30, 2011, in celebration of the World No Tobacco Day, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), in coordination with the various Metro Manila city governments, has committed themselves to achieve a Smoke-free Metro Manila by 2012. In Accordance with Republic Act 9211 (Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003), smoking shall be prohibited in all public arease, including bus terminals, waiting sheds, public utility vehicles, schools, hospitals, and parks.
This is a welcome act especially for the non-smokers who are grossly affected by second-hand smokes whenever smokers puff their cigars in public.
Can this be strictly implemented? Yes, indeed! But it is my hope that our law enforcers will be diligent in ensuring that the law is followed by everyone, because this is the area where we, as a nation, are poor of.
If only people will abide by the rules, and if only law enforcers will implement these rules without prejudice and favor to others, we can witness this goal Smoke-free Metro Manila in 2012.
What could rally the Filipino people into this project? Well, if only the president will make himself as a good example.