Anti-Smoking Law lauded

DAVAO CITY – Members of Thailand’s Action on Smoking and Health Foundation have left a good impression after comparing notes with the city officials here on the implementation of anti-smoking laws.  The group, led by its executive secretary Professor Prakit Vathesogkit, visited the city to discuss with the Anti-Smoking Task Force (ASTF) of this city on the implementation of the ordinance against smoking.  “We wanted to observe how the Davao City government acts on the smoke-free campaign,” Vathesogkit said,  adding that Thailand passed the smoke-free law in 1992.  The task force, chaired by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, was created by Executive Order 26 after the Comprehensive Anti-smoking Ordinance of Davao City took effect in 2002.  “WE hope we could gain a lesson after the study,” Vathesogkit said.  Thailand is the second country to visit this city to study its implementation of the smoking ordinance, with Vietnam being the first.  Dr. Domilyn C. Villareiz, vice chair of the ASTF, told the visitors that the police had apprehended 690 violators from January until July this year and 1,800 violators last year.  “However, we would not do physical apprehension as we would not embarrass the offenders,” said Marvin Melodias, a  member of the task force.  “We just book them and file them directly to the Regional Trial Court,” he said.