The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has expressed its support to the appeal of the Department of Health (DOH) to smokers to quit as they are more vulnerable to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Last month, Dr. Beverly Ho, special assistant to DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III, reiterated in its Beat COVID-19 virtual press conference the World Health Organization’s statement that: “smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 as the act of smoking means that fingers (and possibly contaminated cigarettes) are in contact with lips which increases the possibility of transmission of the virus from hand to mouth.”

MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim said he fully supports the call of the DOH for smokers to quit smoking, stressing that it poses detrimental effects on smokers’ health as well as to people exposed to second-hand smoke.

“Health experts say that smoking weakens the immune system.”

“Health experts say that smoking weakens the immune system. Staying healthy is a must especially during this COVID pandemic,” Lim said.

The MMDA chief added that the agency is strictly implementing its anti-smoking regulation within its premises in compliance with the Civil Service Commission’s directive ordering a smoking ban in all government offices.

“We have an existing circular which refers to the MMDA as a 100% smoke-free workplace.”

“Also, we have an existing circular which refers to the MMDA as a 100% smoke-free workplace. It also includes provisions on the protection against tobacco industry interference and establishment of MMDA smoking cessation program,” Lim added.

Under MMDA Memorandum Circular No. 06, Series of 2018, all personnel are absolutely prohibited from smoking and vaping within the agency’s premises and in all other workplaces to which they are assigned. Smoking and electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) paraphernalia are also not allowed.

“I want them to keep safe from the dangers of tobacco smoke. Their health is our utmost concern,” he said.

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