I almost got in trouble with a stranger last night because of smoking. I don’t smoke and I loathe it very much. It irks me down to my nerves that sometimes, I need to remind smoking people about not smoking in public — at the least where there are too much people around. While walking towards the mall, I gently reminded a lady who’s walking in front of me that she should not smoke in public places. I don’t know what got into me but not as a sexist, I was just trying to be polite (even how I really hate smoking) to tell her not to smoke. She replied “Eh pakialam mo? Nandito ako sa labas kaya pwede akong manigarilyo (Why you should care? I am here outside that’s why I can smoke)“. I replied in return “Miss, kung gusto nyong magpakamatay sa paninigarilyo e solohin nyo na lang at huwag kayong mandamay. Nakakasulasok kasi ang usok, e ang hangin sinasalubong niyo, natural sa mga nasa likuran nyo mapupunta ang usok. (Miss, if you want to kill yourself, do it on your own and don’t harm others while doing such. Of course the winds are going against you and naturally, the smoke of your cigarette will go to the people at your back).” She’s furious to answer: “Anong problema mo? (What’s your problem?)” then she threw off the cigarette butt (since it’s already off) and waited for my answer. I didn’t reply but instead walk away.
Perhaps, it was rude to tell a stranger how bad smoking is (and it will be forever bad) and perhaps she has some reasons doing such. I don’t know and I don’t want to know but all I know is that you’re already been exposed to the smoke coming from the public utility vehicles and you walk by the sidewalk then all of a sudden, there’s a strong cigarette blower in front of you. Maybe this people don’t know that Philippine has an existing law on the regulation of tobacco use.
Focusing on the National Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003, while the said law doesn’t explicitly bans smoking, it has a provision on where not to smoke. Mainly on section 5e:
Public conveyance and public facilities including airport and ship terminals and train and bus stations, restaurant and conference halls, except for separate smoking areas;
And perhaps, I am right (at the least in my own understanding). Yet, it doesn’t need to take a rocket scientist to understand that from where I stand when I spoke to that lady, I was right being in a public facility, to remind her that smoking is bad.
I don’t hate the smoker, I hate smoking. If you want to kill yourself, do it on your own and don’t harm others while doing such. Make the world a healthy place to live in and cutting smoking will help us slowly achieve it.