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Survey Finds More than Half of Metro Manila Citizens Inhale Second-Hand Smoke Every Day

Note: World Lung Foundation united with The Union North America. From January 2016, the combined organization is known as “Vital Strategies.”

(New York and Manila, Philippines) –  Today Center for Health Development – Metro Manila (CHD-MM) and World Lung Foundation (WLF) published the first results of a survey that shows 52% of Metro Manila citizens are exposed to second-hand smoke every day in workplaces, restaurants and other public spaces. The comprehensive survey of smoking knowledge, attitudes and behavior also revealed that 74% are exposed at least once per week.

Too Polite To Complain
According to the research, 71% of non-smokers strongly agree that being around smoke upsets them, yet only 8% told smokers to stop smoking around them in the last week. In addition to being upset, people say they know second-hand smoke harms non-smokers.  87% of people said they think smoking causes heart disease in non-smokers, 93% believe it causes lung cancer and 96% believe smoking causes lung disease in children who breathe it.

“We have to encourage Metro Manilans to complain about their exposure to second-hand smoke to smokers nearby,” said CHD-MM Director Irma Asuncion, MD. She added, “We are very pleased to be working with World Lung Foundation on this survey and on other measures that can deliver a clear message that second-hand smoke is deadly.”

Desire for smoke-free jurisdictions
According to the research, a large majority of smokers and non-smokers in Metro Manila want smoke-free schools (78%), hospitals (77%) and public transportation (69%), according to the survey.  Approximately 60% of non-smokers have expressed interest in smoke-free workplaces and more than half of all people surveyed think it should be forbidden to smoke in all public places.

“The amount of second-hand smoke exposure citizens of Metro Manila face is alarming and there is a clear majority that wants more smoke-free places,” said Peter Baldini, Chief Executive Officer, World Lung Foundation.  “We commend Center for Health Development – Metro Manila for helping to bring this message to the public and to policy makers.”

About the survey
1,000 adults, ages 18 to 55, were sampled and interviewed with respondents across all soci-economic classes and from all 17 local government units. Door-to-door interviews were conducted between January 29 and February 26, 2009. The research was commissioned by CHD-MM and WLF, and was executed by IPSOS Philippines, Inc. Additional results will be released as the data continues to be analyzed.