Establishments given 30 days to comply with anti-smoking law

BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio Domogan directed all establishments in the city to comply with the provisions of Ordinance No. 34 series of 2017 or the “Smoke-Free Baguio Ordinance” within 30 days.

The measure which was approved last April prohibits the use, sale, distribution and advertisement of cigarettes and other tobacco products in public utility vehicles, government-owned vehicles (mobile and stationary), accommodation and entertainment establishments, public buildings, public places, enclosed public places or any enclosed areas outside one’s private residence or private place of work except in duly designated smoking areas.

Dr. Donnabel Tubera, tobacco control coordinator of the City Health Services Office under Dr. Rowena Galpo said the measure essentially bans smoking and vaping inside establishments and requires the establishments to identify one designated smoking areas (DSA).

She said the DSA should be duly approved by the city health officer and must comply with the following requirements: must be located in open space outside the building with no permanent or temporary roof or walls; not located in or within ten meters from entrances, exits of place where people pass or congregate; must not be larger than 10 square meters where food or drinks are not served and minors are not allowed and where signed like “Smoking Area,” “Minors not Allowed” and graphic health warnings on the effects of tobacco use are posted.

Tubera stressed that the DSA should not be located in places where absolute smoking bans are in effect particularly centers of youth activity, schools, youth hostels and recreational facilities, elevators and stairwells, locations where fire hazards are present like gas stations, public and private hospitals, medical , dental and optical clinics, health centers, nursing homes, dispensaries and laboratories, food preparations areas, public conveyances, buildings, facilities and premises of certain government offices, parks, playgrounds and sports facilities.

The ordinance mandates owners of the establishments to post prominently the required signages, to remove ashtrays and similar items from places where smoking is prohibited, to disallow children below 18 years of age to loiter, stay or be seated at DSAs, to report to the Smoke-Free Task Force any tobacco products selling, advertising and promotion located within 100 meters from its perimeter and to remove said advertisements or promo materials.

Retail or wholesale stores should secure a permit from the business permits and licensing office and post the sign: “Sale/Distribution of Tobacco Products and E-Cigarettes to Minors is Unlawful;” and “Walang Sindi;” should secure approval from the CHSO for storages or containments of tobacco products and ensure that these are only opened by store personnel at the counter during actual purchase or when being replenished, cleaned or inspected.

All establishments should establish internal procedure and measures to implement the ordinance in their premises and ensure that all employees are aware of the ordinance. /Aileen P. Refuerzo


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