ROMAN Catholic prelates are now looking to have smoking banned outside school premises to keep the youth away from the deadly vice.
“There has to be strict implementation of policies to create a supportive environment that will protect the youth,” Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)–Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) executive secretary Father Conegundo Garganta said.
At present, several campuses are implementing smoking bans inside their premises but not outside their gates.
Last March, the National Youth Commission (NYC) expressed alarm over the rising number of youth smokers in the country.
The NYC noted that two out of five teens aged 13 to 15 years old smoked cigarettes last year, with smoking prevalence among young Filipinos estimated to be at 38.2 percent or 2.25 million.
Last month, several prelates have also expressed desire to ban smoking in church patios, parking lots and plazas. (HDT/Sunnex