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Introduction

There are millions of people around the world who are addicted to cigarette
smoking. This is such an astonishing number of smokers given the negative
consequences that it might cause in a mans anatomical framework. In fact, smoking
has already been an integral part of peoples lives in industrialized societies for several
different reasons. Some people smoke to cope with the stress that they are suffering
from work, or even from school. In the Philippines alone, majority of the smokers took
up their habit of smoking in their early or mid teen stage; thus exposing them to nicotine
addiction while still in the early age at the academe. Peer pressure is the leading reason
behind the exposure of the youth sector to cigarette smoking. If a child in a social circle
begins to try out tobacco intake, then it's all too easy for him or her to lead peers into
smoking as well; a domino effect that influences the whole social circle. Some children
may also begin to smoke if they have low self-esteem. Smoking makes them feel that
they belong to a particular group, which serves as a comfort since the teenage years is
the crucial part of life where the greatest need is the need to be accepted by people.
The reasons go on and on but whatever the reason is, once a person gets addicted to
smoking, there is a number of serious physical, emotional and even psychological
consequences that will bring forth because of the establishments of smoking behaviors
at an early age.
With this, governments worldwide, including the Philippines, attempt to make the
public aware of the health risks and consequences of smoking. The Philippines,
adopted by a Civil Law kind of legal system, imposed written laws and ordinances that
promote smoking bans in specified places. Section 2 of RA 9211 states the policy of the

State to protect the populace from hazardous products and promote the right to health
and instill health consciousness among them. Section 3 Paragraph (e) states the
purpose of protecting the youth, as stated: Protect the youth from being initiated to
cigarette smoking and tobacco use by prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to
minors. Furthermore, Manila Ordinance 7824 prohibiting minors from smoking
cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products within the city of Manila, is already in
effect. In accordance to Section 5 of the ordinance, violators shall be penalized with a
fine of five hundred pesos (P500.00) or sixteen (16) hours of community services. Still,
students are not aware of the reinforcement of these laws, as majority of them still
smoke even just outside the gates of the University.
With that, this study aims to discover the effects, direct or indirect, of these
smoking ban laws to the smoking behavior of UST students. Whether or not the
students are aware of these smoking bans, surely there are effects to their smoking
behavior which possibly began even before they entered their freshman stage in UST.