By: Elena Grace Flores
The Philippines is about to adopt the smoking law that prohibits smoking in public even if its open air. Indoor smoking areas will not be allowed anymore. The executive order will be released soon after President Rodrigo Duterte signs it.
[VIDEO]: An Executive Order will be prohibiting smokers to smoke in public, smoking areas will not be indoors anymore and this includes Casinos. Hotel smoking areas can be in front entrances and open air parking lots.away from most guests.
Covers Gray Areas
According to lawyer Jim Asturias of Health Justice Philippines—an NGO focusing on overlapping issues of health and law, and public health policy. The Executive Order is necessary to address certain gray areas. This includes the definition of “public places” and the kinds of tobacco products that will be banned.
Patterned after Davao
Department of Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said the executive order was patterned afterDavao City’s Anti-Smoking Ordinance which was implemented when Duterte was still the mayor of the city.
Smoking Ban Just waiting for signature
According to Ubial, once Duterte signs the executive order, local government units should outline penalties for violators. The smoking ban is nationwide and does not spare casinos.
No Second-Hand Smoking
Ubial said designated smoking areas will be allowed in places where the public will not be exposed to second-hand smoke. “Designate a smoking area away from the public. At the back of a hotel, at the parking area,” Ubial said on Tuesday.
The smoking areas will have highly visible signage – alongside a graphic depiction of the negative effects of smoking to one’s health and also to those inhaling the second-hand smoke.
Recognized by WHO
Davao City’s smoking ban has been recognized by the World Health Organization as an effective smoke-free order in an urban setting. WHO noted that Davao’s smoking policy “demonstrates that smoke-free laws can work in the Philippines.”