Last October (2016), news broke out that the government is poised to implement a nationwide “No Smoking” policy that will make smoking in public areas (indoor or outdoor) basically, illegal. Less than 5 months later, the President declared that he will be signing the EO anytime now.
Good news, eh?
The anticipated new law aims to make all public places in the country 100% smoke-free.
What else can be expected from this new, upcoming law?
- The EO will mandate all government agencies, including local governments to implement the smoking ban in all public places.
- All public places, whether indoor or outdoor, shall be considered “No Smoking” areas. These include: parks, bus stations, and vehicles.
- Local government units are encouraged to draft their ordinances to implement the E.O.
This may as well be one of the biggest, if not the biggest campaign launched by the government against smoking. In 2015, the government required all cigarette manufacturers and advertisers to include graphic images of people stricken with diseases caused by cigarette smoking. These must be clearly printed alongside text warnings of the hazards of smoking. It was intended to discourage the public from consuming cigarettes. However, the Philippines’ “sachet economy” kept buyers from looking at the graphic images long enough to help them quit smoking. In the country, vendors sell cigarettes by stick (seldom by pack). This is a win-win situation between buyer and seller: the buyer is saved from staring at the graphic images (usually that of a swollen, gangrened foot or mouth) and the seller makes more money from retailing each pack (than selling it per pack).
The upcoming Executive Order that will free all public places from cigarette smoke takes the game to a level playing field. The nation looks forward to finally breathing cigarette smoke-free air in public places very soon.
Related article: No Smoking in the Philippines