DENR-7 to impose 100% smoke-free environmentThursday, September 20, 2012 07:18 AM Views : 616 Hazel F. Gloria
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-7) will impose a "100-percent smoke-free environment policy" in all its provincial and community offices including government service vehicles in four provinces in Central Visayas.
DENR 7 Executive Director Isabelo Montejo said, this policy is pursued to maintain a healthy and productive workforce while protecting our people from exposure to secondhand smoke which is considered more dangerous or risky.
This is also in compliance with the Civil Service Commission Memorandum Circular Number 17, series of 2009 that adopts and promulgates a smoking prohibition in all areas of government premises, buildings and grounds, except open spaces designated as smoking areas, he added.
Montejo issued this memorandum to disallow DENR 7 employees, field and office-based personnel from smoking within office premises and in their field of assignments. Smoking is also banned in any DENR-7 vehicle.
Any violation shall be considered ground for disciplinary action pursuant to Rule XIV (Discipline) of the Omnibus Rules and Implementation Book V of Executive Order No. 929.
In line with this, Montejo urged the public that no-smoking policy could not only reduce risks on public health but can also contribute to minimize environmental hazards brought about by polluted air.
Meanwhile, recent studies showed secondhand smoke causes lung cancer, increases the risk of a heart attack, triggers asthma attack, and causes acute respiratory effects.
Secondhand smoke, which has higher concentration of toxic chemicals than inhaled by smokers, is a known human carcinogen and an occupational carcinogen containing formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic, ammonia and hydrogen cyanide.