President Benigno C. Aquino III is still smoking
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WHO: 10 Filipinos die every hour brought on by cigarette smoking
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- 240 Filipinos die everyday due to smoking - DOH
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Per report of ABS-CBNnews.com, dated February 1, 2012, President Benigno Aquino III is still puffing cigarettes. The news was headlined “PNoy still can’t kick smoking habit”.
Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte admitted the fact that the president is still in with the smoking habit but added he does so only in designated smoking areas, contrary to what some people think that he brushes smoking rules aside being president.
In October last year, the palace said no to a newspaper report that Pres. Aquino was allowed to puff cigarettes during his return trip from San Francisco to Manila. Malacanang denied this allegation knowing for a fact that the president was fully aware that smoking would violate international and domestic aviation rules.
The president has indicated earlier his stand on the issue, saying he’s not yet ready to forget the habit lest his decision-making skills would be affected.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer, online-dated September 19, 2011 carries the alarming report that the World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that tobacco consumption kills 10 Filipinos every hour, due to cancer, stroke, lung and heart diseases brought on by cigarette smoking.
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Original title: Should Noynoy continue smoking?
PRESIDENT apparent Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Cojuangco Aquino III, born February 8, 1960, Liberal Party, senator of the 14th Philippine Congress, smokes cigarettes. He said he could consume a pack or 20 sticks a day. When there is pressure, he could consume more. In fact- during the SNAP Elections of 1985- he said he smoked 3 packs because of tension. His brand is Marlboro Lights Menthol. He averred that he ran and won the last concluded polls with the people knowing fully well that he was a smoker.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has reminded Senator Aquino about the possible side effects of smoking cigarettes. Regional Adviser for Tobacco-Free Initiative Project of WHO, Western Pacific Region, Dr. Susan Mercado said in a statement that smoking is the most important preventable risk factor for the leading cause of death in the Philippines today- cardiovascular disease. The doctor added that cigarette smoke is the cause of immeasurable sufferings among families that are afflicted by cancers and other tobacco-related diseases. The WHO made it clear to the senator that both his parents were victims of illnesses that were related to cigarette-smoke exposure. His father- Ninoy- suffered a heart attack, while his mother- Cory- had colorectal cancer. Both diseases are link to cigarette exposure.
Noynoy refused to act as anti-smoking poster boy when offered. Relative to this, Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral said that the government's campaign to curb smoking would be severely affected. We would not have a very good supporter of anti-smoking activites, Cabral told reporters Tuesday, May 25 at the Angeles University Foundation.
The 82-year-old, cigar chomping, former President of the Philippines Fidel Valdez Ramos through an interview with reporters- advised Noynoy to quit smoking; that smoking is bad for his health. FVR offered a sort of solution by saying he was able to kick the nicotine habit away through "self-discipline and sheer determination." Other personalities who sounded the same call were Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan, Senator Pia Cayetano and the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance Philippines.
Noynoy and US President Barack Obama shared things in common. They both shared "sudden and phenomenal rise in popularity." And because of public concern regarding their health- they both were told or advised to quit smoking cigarettes.
On this issue- the smoking senator from Tarlac has these responds:
"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."
He was not ready to quit because of the pressure of the job he is about to undertake and quitting smoking would add unnecessary pressure on him and affect his performance.
That he is aware of the health risks of smoking- but "there is the so-called bad stress that I might experience."
Soon to address a lot of rsponsibilities as President of the Philippines- Noynoy reasoned out, "he needs all the de-stress mechanisms ... and this includes smoking."
The 2005-2006 Tobacco and Poverty Study conducted by the College on Public Health of the University of the Philippines, National Epidemiology Center of the Department of Health and the WHO has unearth a grim reminder for all of us Filipinos: at least 240 Filipinos die each day- 87,600 a year- from smoking-related diseases such as lung cancer, cardiac arrest, stroke and other chronic lung failures.
"We are losing the war against smoking," said Maricar Limpin, executive director of the Framework Convention of the Tobacco Control Alliance of the Philippines (FCAP). Despite the passage of the 2003 Tobacco Control Act more Filipino youths are now smoking, she added.
As incoming president and looked up to as model of 88.75 million (2007) and projected to be 94.01 (2010) million Filipinos- can Noynoy- smoking 20 Malrboro Lights Menthol sticks a day- lessen the 240 reported death of Filipinos daily from tobacco-related diseases? Are his reasons valid for not quitting the urge to sniff nicotine?
Obviously- it is the constitutional right of every Filipino to express concern on the health of their head of state. Well-meaning organizations and personalities like the WHO, ex-president Fidel V. Ramos, Senator Pia Cayetano, Dr. Jaime Galvez-Tan, etc. did so give advice to Noynoy out of their concern to protect and safequard his health; they did so not to encroach and jeopardize his private freedom.
For the welfare of their respective constituents, should Noynoy continue lighting and smoking 20 Marlboro Lights Menthol day in day out to lighten pressures, or should US President Barack Obama go on puffing 6 Marlboro Reds per day for the same reason?
(RMN Networks, mb.com.ph, philstar, malaya)
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