May 19, 2017

EO on nationwide smoking ban signed by Duterte

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    Put a check on another one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign promises as he has signed Executive Order (EO) No. 26, which bans smoking in public places nationwide.

    EO 26. Smoking is effectively banned in the Philippines./IMAGE Rappler

    EO No. 26 was signed last May 16, which aims to “protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them.”

    The eight-page document goes into detail about which acts are prohibited, as well as setting the standards for designated smoking areas (DSAs), i.e. the only places you’re allowed to smoke. The EO will take effect 60 days after it is published in newspapers.

    Anyone caught violating EO No. 26 will be fined according to those set under Sec. 32 of Republic Act No. 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003.

    What you cannot do under EO 26

    NO MORE OF THIS. You may find it hard to do this anywhere there isn’t a smoking area.

    Here’s the list of things EO No. 26 does not allow:

    • Smoking within enclosed public spaces and public conveyances (PUVs and elevators), whether stationary or in motion, except in DSAs fully compliant with the requirements set by the law
    • A person-in-charge to allow, abet, or tolerate smoking in places where it is not allowed
    • Selling, distributing, or purchasing tobacco products to and from minors. You’re not off the hook even if you say “I didn’t know he/she wasn’t under 18” or “I don’t think he/she smokes.”
    • Minors to smoke, buy, or sell cigarettes or any other tobacco products (cigar, pipe, shisha/hookah, chew tobacco, and anything else that uses tobacco leaves in any way, shape, or form)
    • Telling a minor to use, light up, buy, sell, distribute, deliver, advertise, or promote tobacco products
    • Selling or distributing tobacco products in or within 100 meters of any place frequented by minors
    • Placing, posting, displaying, or distributing advertisement and promotional materials of tobacco products, such as but not limited to leaflets, posters, display, structures, and other materials anywhere near places where you can usually find minors
    • Placing any form of tobacco advertisement outside of the premises of point-of-sale retail establishments
    • Placing any stall, booth, and other displays concerning tobacco promotions to areas outside the premises of point-of-sale locations or adult-only facilities

    Itching to smoke?

    LOOK FOR THE SIGN. A DSA will be clearly marked, much like how we mark non-smoking areas.

    If, however, you are feeling the urge to take a whiff, you need to head for a DSA. Good thing for us, EO No. 26 gives us standards for a DSA, also known as your customary smoking area.

    There are a couple of nuances, like having a Non-Smoking Buffer Zone (a ventilated area between the door of a DSA not located in an open space and smoke-free areas), how far it should be from anywhere people may gather (10 meters minimum) or how big it should be (be no more than 20% of the total floor area of the building or conveyance.

    It also limits the number of smoking areas (only per building or conveyance). DSAs, however, are forbidden in centers of youth facilities (schools, colleges, universities, youth hostels, and recreational facilities for minors), elevators and stairwells, places close to fire hazards, health facilities, and food preparation areas.


    Source: ABS-CBN News, Rappler, CNN Philippines, Philippine Daily Inquirer

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