More work needed to make Baguio smoke-free – Mayor

BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio Domogan admitted that more work is needed to realize the goals of Ordinance No. 34 series of 2017 or the “Smoke-Free Baguio Ordinance.”

“A lot more has to be done and it will really take time because like gambling, smoking is a vice that cannot be kicked easily unless people change their attitude and values,” the mayor told his press briefing last week.

The mayor however assured that the city government through the City Health Services Office under Dr. Rowena Galpo will continue to take steps to fully enforce the provisions of the ordinance even as he called on the residents to cooperate and follow the law.

Ordinance No. 34-2017 approved in April this year 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.

Last May, President Rodrigo Duterte issued Executive Order No. 26 imposing a nationwide ban on smoking in all public places in the country effective July 23, 2017 invoking the Clean Air Act of 1999 and the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003.

The ordinance prohibits smoking or vaping in public places, workplaces, public conveyances or other public places except in designated smoking areas (DSA) duly approved and fully compliant with the requirements.

Recently, Dr. Donnabel Tubera, tobacco control coordinator of the CHSO said they have directed the business establishments to begin complying with the ordinance and identify their DSA based on 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.

Among the prohibited acts in the ordinance are “allowing, abetting or tolerating smoking or vaping in accommodation establishments,” smoking inside government-owned or PUV whether moving or stationary or while waiting for passengers; selling or distributing and purchasing tobacco products and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) to and from minors or ordering them to use, light up, buy, sell, distribute, deliver, advertise or promote tobacco and ENDS products;

Selling or distributing tobacco products and /or ENDS in a school, public playground or other facility frequented by minors, offices of the Department of Health and attached agencies, hospitals and health facilities or within 100 meters from these places, government facilities.

In terms of advertising, the following will be disallowed:

Placing, posting, displaying or distributing advertisements and promotional materials of tobacco products or ENDS within an establishment covered by the ban; conducting promotional activities, campaigns, events, product sampling and the like in establishments covered; displaying and placing tobacco products and ENDS in open store shelves except in opaque and single-colored storage; and facilitation, participation or partnership engaged by any government officials or personnel in any form of contribution, sponsorship or corporate social responsibility activity by the tobacco company in the city. /Aileen P. Refuerzo


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