In support of the World No Tobacco Day, the city government of Taguig will be strictly observing the revitalized anti-smoking drive in the entire city.
Under the City Ordinance 65, smoking is strictly prohibited, including vaping or the use of Electronic or E-cigarette, electronic sisha (water pipes) and other similar devices.
President Rodrigo Duterte has also signed Executive Order No. 26 (Providing for the Establishment of Smoke-Free Environments in Public and Enclosed Spaces), which bans smoking in public places nationwide.
Under Republic Act 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act, fines and penalties await violators.
“We all know that smoking, as well as inhaling second-hand smoke, is detrimental to one’s health particularly to our children,” said Mayor Laarni Cayetano.
The city government advised the public to refrain from smoking especially in public places specifically in:
• Youth activity center like playgrounds and other recreational places
• Schools including universities and colleges (Inside and outside campuses, premises)
• Elevators and stairwells
• Gas stations and other hazardous places
• Hospitals, dental clinics, laboratories, pharmacies, nursing homes and related places
• Public and private transportation
• Restaurants, airports, terminals, except in separate smoking areas
• Food preparation areas
• Government institutions
The local government is also informing stores and groceries not to post billboards, printed materials and other advertisements pertaining to cigarettes, “as this would also promote smoking and run counter to our campaign,” Cayetano said.
Stores situated within the 100-meter radius of school areas are also prohibited from selling cigarettes to anyone.
The group Health Justice Philippines is optimistic the smoking ban in public places and conveyances will be strictly implemented and not be another “ningas cogon” (fizzled-out project), saying the national policy is meant to save not just smokers, but also non-smokers who suffer from the ill effects of secondhand smoke.
According to HJP, at least 240 Filipinos die every day from smoking-related diseases. It added exposure to second hand smoke increases a non-smoker’s chance of developing lung cancer by 30 percent.
Smoking kills six million people a year worldwide and will cause more than eight million deaths annually by 2030, according to the US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC also reported that cigarette smoking is also responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including nearly 42,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure.