DOH clarifies smoking ban takes effect July 23

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 14 2017 10:00 AM | Updated as of Jul 14 2017 05:20 PM

MANILA - The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday clarified that the nationwide smoking ban would take effect on July 23, not July 15 as it previously announced.

DOH Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag said this Friday afternoon after making an earlier clarification that the ban would take effect on July 22.

"Una, kung pagbabasehan natin 'yung May 16, petsa na nilagdaan ng ating Pangulo, bukas (ito ipapatupad); subalit doon sa executive order, 60 days after ng publication sa isang major daily," Tayag told ABS-CBN's Umagang Kay Ganda.

"'Nang chineck namin ito, na-publish sa Manila Bulletin noong May 23. 'Pag nagka-ganoon, sa isang Sabado pa ii-implement, pero pwede na silang mag-practice," he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed in May an executive order banning smoking in public places nationwide, fulfilling his campaign vow to bring nationwide the prohibition he for long implemented in Davao City, where he was mayor for over two decades.

Under Executive Order (EO) No. 26, smoking is totally forbidden in establishments such as schools, hospitals, clinics, food preparation areas, and locations in which fire hazards are present.

"Public place, bawal po; public conveyance, bawal,” said Tayag.

The order allows smokers only in designated smoking areas (DSA) in other buildings, which may either be an open space or a separate area with proper ventilation, and where warnings on the ill effects of smoking should be posted. 

If inside an enclosed space, there shall be no opening that would allow air to escape into a smoke-free area of a building or conveyance, except for a single automatic door.

These areas shall also have a non-smoking buffer zone. The combined area for a DSA and its buffer zone should not be larger than 20 percent of the total floor area of the building or conveyance.

The DSA should not be located within 10 meters from entrances, exits, or any place where people pass or congregate, or in front of air intake ducts. There shall be no more than one DSA in a building, and the chosen area should bear proper signage. 

"Persons of authority" who fail to establish DSAs may face sanctions.

"Kung may violation po 'yung nanigarilyo sa no-smoking area, sila po ay mapapatawan din ng violation," he said.

Violators may face a fine of up to P100,000 or imprisonment of six years, in accordance with applicable penalties under Republic Act 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003.