Please don't smoke in a public vehicle
In the Philippines, smoking in a public vehicle is definitely illegal. Yet, smokers sometimes try to challenge this law, as well as the patience of non-smokers.
If you have ever ridden in a jeepney, you know how very inconvenient it becomes when an inconsiderate co-passenger hops on with a cigarette in his hand.
How do I react? Often times, I directly ask the man to please throw his cigarette away because I cannot breath. "Ma, nakakahilo na po dito sa jeep. Pwede po ba'ng 'wag na kayo magsigarilyo dito?" Sometimes I notice a lady passenger would hold her breath, awaiting the smoker's response. The smoker often takes a final puff before flipping the cigarette away. I then promptly thank him. "Maraming salamat po." One can hear the held breaths finally released.
In the rare instances that the smoker smugly (nay, arrogantly) pretends he didn't hear my request, I will tug lightly at his sleeve, and ask more emphatically, looking straight into his eyes. Fortunately, I have never had to confront anyone who needed a third request to stop smoking in a public vehicle.
There were instances too that the culprit was the driver himself, who you know can be very defiant. That's when I brace myself, and ask a second time. When that's unsuccessful, I bring out my ever reliable spiral notebook and pen, and start writing details of the incident as I ask him, in a no nonsense tone of voice, for his name, plate number, and mentioning the jeepney's route. "Ok, route Project 6 to Kalaw. Ano po ang pangalan nyo? Plate number ng jeep na ito? .........." (Ok, route from Project 6 to Kalaw. What's your name? Plate number?....). Sometimes, the passenger nearest the entrance, extends his body out, to look at the plate number. However, I have never had to continue with more questions, nor actually report the incident to the LTO. (But I would really have, in worse circumstances). The driver flips the cigarette away. Again, I thank him with a smile (smirk, hahaha).
I noticed that it just takes some guts to speak out and request a smoker not to smoke inside a public vehicle. And of course, the request works when one shows the respect while asking so.
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