Department of Health officials said Tuesday they support the decision of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to pursue the smoking ban in public places covered by Republic Act 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003.

“The Department of Health supports the decision of the MMDA, together with the local government units, to pursue the enforcement of its smoking ban in areas covered by Republic Act 9211 (Tobacco Regulation Act of 1993),” the DOH said.

Despite the issuance of a temporary restraining order by the Mandaluyong City Regional Trial Court Branch 213 on the MMDA anti-smoking rule in public places, the Department of Health (DOH) praise the efforts of the MMDA to pursue the campaign.

DOH stressed the dangers of inhaling second-hand smoke, which can increase the risk of non-communicable diseases in adults and in worse, children may become prone to lung diseases such as asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia, and possibly stunted physical growth and intellectual development.

The campaign aims to protect non-smokers from second hand smoke and help achieve a smoke-free status by 2012.