Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Health | By Jay Jacobs

Philippines president bans smoking in public, with offenders facing jail

Philippines president bans smoking in public, with offenders facing jail

In an executive order signed earlier this week, Duterte has ordered a nationwide ban on smoking in all public places.

Duterte, a firebrand leader most famous for waging a war on drugs in which thousands of people have died, had promised immediately after becoming president a year ago to introduce the smoking ban as part of a range of measures to impose more order on society.

The executive order specifically bans smoking in all public places including schools, workplaces, government facilities, establishment that provides food and drinks, accommodations and professional services, among others.

Ubial said Duterte signed the executive order on Tuesday, which sets strict guidelines on designated areas where smoking is prohibited or may be allowed, with breaches attracting a maximum penalty of four months in jail and a fine up to 5,000 pesos (100 US dollars). The order also includes hefty punishments - including jail time - for anyone caught advertising or providing tobacco products to minors.

It also bans minors from smoking or buying cigarettes or any other tobacco products.

Those who violate the order face a penalty of from P1,000 up to P400,000, depending on the gravity of the offense.

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

It is also prohibited to sell tobacco products to a minor and minors are also prohibited to sell or buy such.

The placement of any form of tobacco advertisement outside of the premises of the point-of-sale retail establishments is also banned, as well as the placement of any stall, booth and other displays concerning tobacco promotions to areas outside the premises of point-of-sale locations or adult-only facilities.

Basically, smoking is no longer allowed in public areas whether enclosed or not except in Designated Smoking Areas (DSA).

The order, which strictly implements a 2003 Tobacco Regulation Act, allows for the creation of designated smoking areas but also imposes rigid criteria for these locations.

The buffer zone must be between the door of the DSA and the rest of the building.

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.

The order will take effect 60 days after publication in newspapers of nationwide circulation.

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