Efforts are being made to turn townships in Yangon municipal area into tobacco-free zones in the coming five years, said Dr Than Sein, chair of Public Health Foundation.
“Our move is not to take actions against smokers. Smoking will be not allowed in the prohibited areas. Now there are 114 tobacco-free areas. About 75 per cent of those areas are allegedly said to abide by the law. We must study whether the public really follow it or not.”
Since late May, a total of 114 sites—35 religious buildings, 24 hotels and guesthouses, seven schools, two hospitals and parks, 40 government buildings, three departmental stores and three cinemas—have been designated as tobacco-free areas according to Section 6 and 7, Chapter-4 of the Tobacco and Tobacco Products Control Law.
Than Myint Aung, a member of the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) said: “Warning signs are printed on tobaccos boxes. People regard tobacco consumption as a taste. Now even teenagers take tobacco. It may lead to the use of other narcotic drugs in cigarette.”
Every year, an estimated 600,000 people die from diseases such as lung and mouth cancers around the globe, due to tobacco consumption. About 75 per cent of an estimated 600,000 people who died from passive smoking are women and children.