SEATCA's SMOKE FREE INITIATIVE IN ASEAN

SEATCA contributes to the global implementation of WHO FCTC Article 8 "Protection from exposure to tobacco smoke" through several initiatives such as supporting cities in the development and enforcement of smoke-free policies, having organized the Smoke-free Cities ASEAN Network (SCAN) and the Network of Smoke-free World Heritage Sites and Cities ensuring a Smoke-free Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and successfully advocating for a smoke-free ASEAN Secretariat's workplace.

In 2007, SEATCA conducted a regional workshop on "Implementing the WHO FCTC Article 8: Towards 100% smoke-free environments" and gave citations to different smoke-free initiatives such as smoke-free city for Davao City, Philippines, smoke-free world heritage city for Luang Prabang, Lao PDR and the smoke-free army in Cambodia among others.

SMOKE FREE CITIES ASEAN NETWORK

A regional workshop on strengthening the enforcement of smoke-free laws towards building smoke-free cities in the ASEAN was organized in Davao City, Philippines with around 100 participants from eight ASEAN countries, sharing their experiences and updating on their smoke-free initiatives.

The cities were Phnom Penh and Siem Reap(Cambodia), Jakarta and Palembang(Indonesia), Vientiane, Khammouane, Savannaket and Bolikhamxay Provinces (Lao PDR), Johor, Malacca and Penang (Malaysia), Myanmar, Balanga, Bataan, Legazpi, Albay, Makati City and Davao City (Philippines), Phitsanulok, Chiang Mai, Chanthaburi, Suratthani, Samui Island (Thailand), Thai Nguyen City, My Tho City, TienGiang Province and Da Nang City(Vietnam).

As enforcement of smoke-free laws is the main concern of cities, ensuring that the law is FCTC compliant by promoting 100% smoke-free indoor places and public places is of primary importance.

SMOKE FREE SEA GAMES

The Southeast Asian (SEA) Games are venues to elevate sports as a platform to promote good health and friendship. Since 2003 the SEA Games have been smoke-free, with advocacy by SEATCA and its country partners to ensure its proper implementation.

During the 2009 SEA Games in LAO PDR, SEATCA supported the smoke-free campaign which became the model for succeeding games. The host city and country will be promoted globally as a healthy and smoke-free place, which will eventually help make smoke-free a social norm and a way of life once again.

NETWORK OF SMOKE-FREE WORLD HERITAGE SITES AND CITIES

Most world heritage properties do not have an established policy, plan or process for managing or reducing potential smoking-related harms to heritage sites and the exposure of people to secondhand smoke (SHS).

In 2011, SEATCA organized a regional workshop for smoke-free world heritage sites and cities in ASEAN which paved the way for making the following heritage sites and cities smoke-free: Angkor sites in Cambodia; Borobudur and Prambanan Temples in Indonesia; Luang Prabang and Vat Phou Campasak in Lao PDR; Malacca, Penang, Sarawak, Sabah and Kelantan in Malaysia; Baroque Churches in the Philippines; Ayutthaya and Sukhothai in Thailand; and Ha Long and Hoi An in Vietnam.

Recognizing the importance of protecting heritage sites from fires and smoke damage due to smoking of tobacco and indiscriminate discarding of cigarette butts and the importance of protecting all people within these sites from the hazards of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke, conservation authorities need to develop and enforce a strong and comprehensive policy to prevent and reduce tobacco-caused damages in order to preserve their cultural and natural values as well as protect staff and visitors from disease and untimely death.

ASEAN'S FIRST SMOKE FREE CITY: DAVAO CITY, PHILIPPINES

Davao City is located in the southern part of the Philippines with a population of 1.5 million people. The smoke-free campaign started in 2002 with a local ordinance that prohibits smoking in all enclosed places and public places but allowed the designation of smoking rooms.

Today, Davao City is 100% smoke-free as it no longer allows designated smoking rooms and prohibits the use of all tobacco products and electronic cigarettes in non-smoking areas. SEATCA has recognized Davao as the 1st 100% Smoke-free City in the ASEAN after 11 years of working on smoke-free and has molded it as a model smoke-free city in the ASEAN. Government officials and tobacco control advocates from different cities in the Philippines and other ASEAN countries visit Davao to learn from its experience in making Davao smoke-free.

SMOKE-FREE ANGKOR: PROTECTING THE LEGACY OF THE PAST AND SAVING LIVES OF THE PRESENT

Angkor archaeological sites located in Siem Reap Province in north-western Cambodia which is the ancient royal capital of the great Khmer Empire from 9th to 15th century. In 1992, UNESCO recognized Angkor archaeological park as a world heritage site.

The APSARA Authority is taking charge of the smoke-free campaign together with the Ministry of Tourism after they attended SEATCA's 2011 regional workshop on smoke-free environments.

They have followed the 10 steps towards a smoke-free city, which includes the issuance of a circular on Smoke-free Angkor sites including 98 monuments recognized by UNESCO, organizing a working group, training tour guides and residents, and installation of no smoking signs and billboards among others.

ASEAN SECRETARIAT'S SMOKE FREE WORKPLACE

SEATCA engaged the ASEAN Secretariat's (ASec) Health and Communicable Diseases Division of the Socio Cultural Community Department in Advocating for a smoke-free workplace.

Through a memorandum of the ASEAN Secretary General, which was officially launched on May 2012, smoking is prohibited within the ASec building. With full support of the 12th ASEAN Secretary General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, a strong tobacco control advocate who backs the promotion of a smoke-free ASEAN, SEATCA also conducted a staff orientation on the hazards of smoking, as well as the posting of No Smoking signs in strategic areas of the workplace.