Duterte OKs nat'l smoking ban

PH refuses new EU grants P13 billion at stake

A smoker places a cigarette stub on a tray filled with stubs beside a road in Las Pinas city, Metro Manila Philippines August 7, 2015.

President Duterte finally signed yesterday Executive Order 26 (EO 26) for the implementation of the nationwide smoking ban.

The law which was announced on Thursday (18 May) will forbid tobacco use, as well as e-cigarettes, in all public spaces including pavements.

According to a report by the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance, there are some 17 million Filipino smokers, or nearly one-third of the adult population.

Selling or distributing tobacco in a school, public playground, youth hostels and recreational facilities for minors, including those frequented by minors, or within 100 meters from any point of the perimeter of these places.

A DSA shall also have a non-smoking buffer zone.

Duterte also ordered the creation of a smoke-free task force in all cities and municipalities to help carry out the provisions of the order.

Abella said Duterte signed EO 26, which prohibits smoking in public places and public vehicles, whether stationary or in motion.

Gangs of vigilantes have taken seriously the president's call to slaughter addicts.

More news: Grown-ups brawl at high school graduation in Tennessee

People who smoke in banned areas will face a fine of 500 pesos ($10) for a first offence, rising to a maximum of 10,000 pesos ($200) for a third strike, according to the order.

Mr Duterte's predecessor, Benigno S. Aquino III, had signed a law in 2014 requiring bold graphic health warnings on all cigarette packages, but studies show it has done little to stub the vice in this country of 104 million.

"Scientific evidence has unequivocally established that tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco cause death, disease and disability, lead to devastating health, social, economic and environmental consequences, and places burdens on families, on the poor, and on national and local health systems", Duterte said.

Emer Rojas, a cancer survivor and the president of the anti-smoking group New Vois Association of the Philippines, said he hoped the new measure would significantly cut smoking in a country where it is common to see adults and children smoking on the street.

The order had been reported in some media as a blanket ban on smoking in public places.

"It's an order to the Executive branch".

In addition, ordering, instructing or compelling of a minor to use, light up, buy, sell, distribute, deliver and promote tobacco products will likewise be prohibited.

A 2014 report by the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance shows that there are about 17 million Filipino smokers, or almost a third of the adult population.

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