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Smoking ban comes into force

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has already signed an executive order setting strict guidelines for a nationwide ban on smoking, which will cover schools, universities and recreational facilities for minors.

Under Executive Order No. 26, signed on May 16--smoking is prohibited “within enclosed public places and public conveyances, whether stationary or in motion,” except in designated smoking areas, defined as “an area of a building or conveyance where smoking may be allowed, which may be in an open space or separate area with proper ventilation.”

Also prohibited is the selling, distribution, purchase and usage of tobacco products for minors, and the placement, posting, displaying and distribution of tobacco-related promotional materials within 100 meters from the perimeter of a school, public playground, and other facility frequented by minors.

No designated smoking areas may be constructed in a) Centers of youth activity such as playschools, preparatory schools, elementary schools, high schools, colleges and universities, youth hostels and recreational facilities for minors; b) Elevators and stairwells; c) Locations where fire hazards are present; d) Within premises of public and private hospitals, medical, dental, optical clinics; and e) Food preparation areas.

BANNED. Despite the city-wide smoking ban in Manila, an elderly woman openly smokes at Plaza Sta. Cruz in Manila’s Rizal Avenue while taking care of her grandchildren. Ey Acasio

While a designated smoking area can be established inside a building, the EO requires the construction of a two meter “non-smoking buffer zone,” which will not allow air from smoking areas to escape.

Designated smoking areas must also have signs designating them as such, and carry graphic health warnings on the effects of tobacco use, and warnings on the prohibition of minors, the EO read.

Those who violate the EO can face penalties from P1,000 up to P400,000, depending on the gravity of the offense.

When he was mayor of Davao City, Duterte had a similar ordinance that made public places “a 100-percent smoke-free environment.”

Topics: Smoking ban , President Rodrigo Duterte , Executive Order No. 26
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