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Pasay City gets tough on vaping

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By Jean Fernando

The Pasay City government has started to get tough on smokers with the passage of City Ordinance, banning the use of vaping devices in public places.

FILE  - In this Aug. 28, 2019, file photo, a man exhales while smoking an e-cigarette in Portland, Maine. Walmart says it will stop selling electronic cigarettes at its namesake stores and Sam's Clubs following a string of illnesses and deaths related to vaping.  The nation's largest retailer said Friday, Sept. 20 that it will complete its exit from e-cigarettes after selling through current inventory. It cited growing federal, state and local regulatory complexity regarding vaping products. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty/MB FILE PHOTO)

Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano issued an order to strictly impose City Ordinance 6061, which regulates use of vaping devices throughout the city.

“It is high time to impose stricter measures on these substances to protect the youth and the general public against the ill-effects of cigarette smoking and vaping,” Rubiano, who has been advocating for stringent health measures, said.

Health is a priority component in Rubiano’s governance vision referred to as H.E.L.P., which stands for (H) Health Care and Housing; (E) Education, Economic Growth and Environment; (L) Livelihood and Lifestyle; and (P) is Peace and Order, Palengke and Pamilya.

Rubiano explained that based on international studies like the one made by America’s first research university, John Hopkins Medicine, it concluded that regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes are both “bad to people’s health.”

She also said that the World Health Organization (WHO) has introduced a specific code for vaping-related illnesses in its International Classification of Diseases. ICD-10 is an extensive code system that helps document and compile cases of different diseases across the world.

The code for “acutely ill-patients who have used e-cigarettes in the last 90 days, with no other plausible causes for illness” is U07.0.

The mayor furthers explained that while “the Philippines has made progress on tobacco control in recent years, people continue to die and become sick needlessly, and the costs to society from tobacco use continue to mount.”

Rubiano said  that according to the tobacco-monitoring group Tobacco Atlas, adding: “Every year more than 117,700 of its people are killed by tobacco-caused disease. Still more than 94,000 children (aged 10 to 14 years old) and 12,838,000 adults (aged 15 years and above) continue to use tobacco each day.”

The American Society of Clinical Oncology on their srtudy, e-cigarettes pose a clear and present danger against the health of the public.

In approving City Ordinance 6061, the Pasay City Council which was proposed by Vice Mayor Noel Del Rosario, banned the use of e-cigarettes indoors such as places of working, hospitals, other healthcare centers, government offices, educational facilities and recreational facilities as well as public conveyances.

In all other enclosed places that are open to the general public and private workplaces, the use of vaping devices will be allowed provided that the owner of such places informs the public that e-cigarette is allowed and there is a designated vaping area.

The City Ordinance also prohibits vape shop owners to sell e-cigarette products to minors it also provides a “no contest provision” intended to decongest Pasay City Jail.

The “no contest provision” allows violators of  the said ordinance to pay voluntarily the minimum administrative fine of P1,000 or render a community service of six hours in a public place supervised by the Barangay Chairman.

Violators of the ordinance will be meted the following penalties: 1st Conviction – fine of P2,000 to be paid in the Office of the City Treasurer or render 12 hours of community service as street sweeper at the option of the offender in a public place supervised by the Barangay Chairman of the venue where the violator was arrested.

For the 2nd Conviction – fine of P3,000 or 18 hours of community service as street sweeper; and for the 3rd Conviction – fine of P4,000 or 24 hours of community service.

In all instances, the Barangay Chairman shall issue a certificate that the violator has completed the required number of hours of community service and the Pasay City Police Station Commander shall monitor the record of conviction of the violator.

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