Law allows women to force partners to quit smoking

Second-hand smoke from cigarettes is a form of violence against women. According to tobacco control advocates, Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence against Women Act provides a legal remedy that will force partners to quit smoking.

Lawyer Deborah Sy of Health Justice said the law has two requirements. One, the partner intentionally exposed the woman to second hand smoke. And two, the exposure caused her physical or psychological harm.

In extreme situations, if the partners refuse to stop the habit, the law provides a legal remedy that would threaten the partners with imprisonment of up to 12 years.

Department of Social Welfare and Development Dulfie Shalim admitted that smoking is the least explored among other forms of violence against women. “Often, domestic violence is attributed to excessive drinking or substance abuse, smoking hardly comes up as a factor in cases of violence against women,” she said.

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