Strengthened smoking ban
Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
Two years after President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order 26 that prohibits cigarette smoking in common spaces and limits the activity to designated smoking areas, The Department of Health under Secretary Francisco Duque III has signed an administrative order that bans the use of electronic cigarettes in public, with local governments to be tasked with apprehending violators.
DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo said the order is not yet enforceable, as the DOH has not yet published the rules in newspapers as required by law, but implementation is nigh. The ban will include the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping in public, similar to the prohibition of tobacco and cigarettes. The ban intends to protect the public from secondhand smoke and along with the bill passed by the 17 th Congress raising excise taxes on tobacco products and imposing sin taxes on heated tobacco products and vapor tobacco products, it seems that government is bent on discouraging all forms of smoking in public.
It has already been proven that tobacco and cigarette smoking is bad for the health, and while the jury is still out on the negative effects of electronic cigarettes and vaping, no positive effects have been presented. Additionally, public opinion has recently been turning against such behavior. The DOH ban that complements EO 26 strengthens the government’s position as it continues to discourage the once-common act of smoking in public.
The relative success in the implementation of the no-smoking ban two years ago, along with the concessions that allowed public smoking in designated areas, gives us an idea of how the additional ban will be implemented. Those who will be affected should be able to make the necessary adjustments, while those who are in favor and will benefit can thank government for its determination to discourage all forms of smoking in public areas.*