Davao is First ASEAN City to Go Smoke-free

The Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (Seatca) named this city on Monday as the first 100 percent smoke-free metropolitan in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) region.

Councilor Melchor Quitain and Dr. Jomilyn Villareiz, co-chair of Davao City Anti-Smoking Task Force, received the plaque of recognition for the group’s outstanding contribution to tobacco control in behalf of the City Government of Davao in a ceremony at the SM Lanang Premier SMX Convention Center.

The recognition was given during the three-day regional workshop titled, “Smoke-Free Laws: Strengthening its Enforcing Towards Building Model Smoke-free Cities in the Asean,” duly attended by delegates from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

To smokers: This sign means you cannot smoke here.

To smokers: This sign means you cannot smoke here.

Seatca director Bungon Ritthiphakdee, in an interview, said the association wanted to show appreciation to Davao City in terms of “being a model city in implementing law against smoking.”

“It’s a challenge for other cities. Although they have law same with Davao but their problem is enforcement. They cannot well enforce it,” Ritthiphakdee said.

Like in her hometown Thailand, Ritthiphakdee said their country implements a strong anti-smoking policy, but the implementation in public areas like night bars and restaurants remains a challenge.

“The compliance is not so good compared in Davao. I’m impressed even your Casino here is smoke-free,” she said.

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