BAD news for smokers.
President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday said he is set to sign an executive order banning smoking in public places.
Duterte stressed that smoking will no longer be allowed even in designated indoor smoking areas.
“Yes, [the EO on smoking ban] will be [signed] and will follow the Davao experience. If you want to smoke, find a place where it is allowed,” said Duterte.
Duterte said he is shocked at buildings designating indoor smoking areas just “to accommodate the smoker.”
“That ain’t the way. It must be out. It’s not in a cubicle inside the building,” said the President, who included smoking and liquor bans as among his campaign promises during the last presidential elections.
Duterte had said he would lay down a no-smoking policy and liquor ban across the country.
In Davao City smoking is banned in both open and enclosed public areas. Establishments may have smoking areas if these areas are outdoor spaces with no permanent or temporary roof or walls. Davao City was recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a leading example in enforcing a no-smoking policy in the Philippines owing to its smoking ban.
“There is no debate that you will die of cancer if you continue using nicotine,” Duterte stressed.
Under Duterte’s EO, smoking will be allowed in isolated areas and non-public places, according to health assistant secretary Eric Tayag..
Tayag said the EO may also prohibit vaping or e-cigarettes in public places.
“Ang marketing niyan ay para mag-quit smoking subalit ang kabaligtaran ang nangyayari, nagkakaroon sila ng karanasan sa paggamit ng iba’t ibang uri ng vaping hanggang sa mauwi sa pinagbabawal o addicting substances,” Tayag said.
He said local government units will be given authority to make ordinances to affirm the EO and arrest violators.
Tayag said the majority of Filipinos will benefit from the EO, citing the health risks of smoking and second-hand smoking including vulnerability to heart diseases, stroke, and cancer.