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Friday, October 20, 2017 28° Some clouds

EO on smoking ban now at President’s table: Ubial

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By Charina Clarisse Echaluce

The executive order (EO) on smoking ban is now at the table of President Rodrigo Duterte, Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial disclosed.

A smoker lights a cigarette along EDSA in Quezon City, MArch 7, 2017. President Duterte will sign an Executive ORder that prohibits smoking in public areas nationwide. (Mark Balmores)

President Duterte will sign an Executive Order that prohibits smoking in public areas nationwide. (Mark Balmores) Manila Bulletin File Photo

In a press conference, Ubial noted that the EO smoke-free Philippines is now ready for signing, after the numerous “cleansing” done at the Office of the Executive Secretary.

“Everything has been done already and it is now in the table of the president for signing. We were told that the President is set to sign it after his trips abroad,” she stated.

Despite the positive outcome of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2015, the DOH continues to search for ways to lower the number of smokers even more.

“There are still too many Filipinos who shell out substantial amount of their monthly income to support their smoking habit. There is still much to be done in our country’s efforts to limit and curtail tobacco use, especially for the economically-disadvantaged countrymen,” said the DOH head.

This is also the reason why the DOH has been strongly pushing for the complete ban on cigarette smoking in public places nationwide.

“The DOH stands firmly behind all initiatives that impose smoking bans in public places, where non-smokers become unwillingly exposed to second-hand smoke,” said Ubial.

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  • josh_alexei

    Hope the Bill also includes ban smoking inside the vehicles in presence of minors and or non smoking passengers..

    • Jaye Muller

      Cars are considered public places here, oddly enough. So I’m sure you’ll be happy.
      I, on the have, find the whole thing too all encompassing. Why don’t they clean their black smoke coughing cars and trucks first.
      Ridiculous!

      • josh_alexei

        There is a law on that one too..I believe there is…but just like this anti smoking the enforcement is problem..
        I recall that we also had problem with emission test before but the ministry corrected it by direct- hooked with the test centre testing machines and that almost eliminate cheatings. And cops can stop any vehicle and have them comply with with the law and report compliance..

  • Daniel Hammond

    Lmao second hand smoke is 96% water vapor and air surgeon generals report 1989 page 80!

    Duarte has lied to you so he and the minister of health can get big bribes from the gates foundation and the WHO world health organization

  • It would be a shame to close down Premium Cigar Lounges.
    Cigar smokers do not inhale, so there are minimal health
    risks. Only people who want to smoke go to Cigar Lounges
    so there is no imposition on non smokers. Cigar Lounges
    feature powerful air purifying machines and ionizers to
    clean the smoke from the air. These are NOT like the
    discredited ventilation systems used in cigarette rooms.
    Purified air is often cleaner
    than outside air polluted by auto exhausts. Moreover the
    proposed ban states you need to be 10m away from the
    building. This means the establishment would need an
    additional 10m to house the smoking area. Most
    establishments do not own property that far from their
    building. Enjoying an expensive cigar while seated in a
    comfortable leather couch is like savoring fine wine.
    The cigar tasting notes follow fine wine tasting notes.
    Cigars are not smoked just for a nicotine buzz but more
    for the tasting notes such as escpresso, cocoa, cedar, cream
    and more. You don’t pay $100 for a bottle of fine wine to
    drik for the alcohol. It is for the taste. So also for
    premium cigars.
    Cigar tobacco is aged to reduce nicotine levels before the
    cigar is rolled. The ban would not allow cigar aficionados
    to enjoy a cigar in
    air conditioned comfort while wearing their best barong.
    Would the ban also extend to
    private membership paid Cigar clubs? Such places are
    not public. I agree with the ban on cigarette smoking.
    However it would be a shame to overextend it to Cigar
    lounges without considering how that none of the reasons
    for the smoking ban apply to cigar lounges.
    A reason why the ban on smoking has not yet been
    implemented nationally may be that it may conflict with the war
    on drugs. If drug users can no longer fall back to
    cigarettes as an alternative they may hang on to their
    drug habit. Want to save a cigarette smoker who is your friend?
    Turn him on to cigars instead.
    With Manila, Davao and smaller cities such as Maasin already
    having implemented a smoking ban it may be wise to leave it
    up to the municipalities.