Medical

Duterte signs EO on smoking ban, says Ubial

Duterte signs EO on smoking ban, says Ubial

A new smoking ban is coming to the Philippines, as President Rodrigo Duterte signed an executive order this week to prohibit smoking and the use of e-cigarettes in all public places, including on sidewalks.

"He signed it May 16 but we got [a] copy only today", Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said in a text message to Rappler on Thursday, May 18.

In October previous year, Duterte said the nationwide executive order is patterned after the smoking ban that he imposed when he was mayor of Davao City, his home city in the southern Philippines.

The said order also enumerated the requirements needed for designated smoking areas as well as those that can not be used as such.

Duterte, a former smoker who quit after developing health problems, implemented a similar ban in Davao City in 2002, when he was the city's mayor.

Duterte had shunned criticism to his policy, especially those coming from the tobacco industry.

Under the EO, smoking in enclosed public places and transportation servicing the general population, whether stationary or in motion, except designated smoking areas (DSAs) is unlawful. "No smoking" signs are to be posted in all public places.

The combined area of the DSA and the buffer zone should not be larger than 20 percent of the total floor area of the building or conveyance, provided that in no case shall such area be less than 10 square meters.




DSAs should not be located in or within 10 meters from entrances, exits, or any place where people pass or congregate, or in from of air intake ducts.

No building or conveyance shall have more than one DSA.

Minors are prohibited from DSAs, the order said.

The EO also cited penalties, as provisioned by RA 9211, which entail a fine of P500 to P10,000 for those violating the rules for smoking in public places.

Persons-in-charge refers to a president or manager in case of a company, corporation, partnership or association, or the administrator in case of government or private property, facility, office or building, and the city/municipal schools superintendent, school president, dean or principal in case of schools.

Anyone caught providing tobacco products to minors can be sentenced to 30 days in jail.

It also prohibits the sale of tobacco products to minors; and minors are likewise prohibited to sell, use, light up, buy, distribute, deliver, advertise, or promote tobacco products.

Under the new law, tobacco can not be sold within 100 meters (330 feet) of schools, playgrounds or anywhere that children might gather.


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