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Oct. 28, 2022

MMDA, DOH Remind Public: Refrain from Smoking in Cemeteries, Memorial Parks

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Department of Health (DOH) reminded the public to refrain from smoking in public cemeteries and memorial parks in view of the observance of “Undas” or the All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day on November 1 and 2.

MMDA Acting Chairman Carlo Dimayuga III said that all local government units (LGUs) in the National Capital Region have their respective comprehensive smoke-free ordinances.

“All LGUs in NCR do not allow smoking in specific public places including cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaria,” Dimayuga said.

Metro Manila LGUs have created their Smoke-Free Task Forces which ensure that smoke-free policies are followed. Violators may face a fine ranging from P500 to P5,000.

Dimayuga likewise advised those who will visit the graves of their dearly departed loved ones to take extra precaution and observe COVID-19 minimum health protocols.

“People paying respect to their deceased loved ones may be exposed to tobacco smoke. Hence, anti-smoking policies will be strictly enforced for this year’s Undas,” he added.

For her part, Director Neomie Recio, Acting Head of MMDA Health, Public Safety and Environmental Protection Office urged the public to check other health regulations that would be in place.

“We encourage the public to comply with the guidelines on visiting cemeteries as the threat of the pandemic is still here,” Recio stressed.

Meanwhile, health experts explained that vapes and e-cigarettes are also harmful as they contain highly toxic and addictive chemicals. Exposure to second-hand smoke as well as second-hand aerosol can harm the health of non-smokers.

Tobacco smoke contains approximately 7,000 harmful chemicals, 70 of which are cancer-causing substances (carcinogens), according to the DOH.

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