In continuation of his war against drugs, Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte has again signed an executive order for a nationwide smoking ban, prohibiting people from lighting cigarettes up in all public places. The order also includes hefty punishments — including jail time — for anyone caught advertising or providing tobacco products to minors.
Under the order, which takes effect in mid-July, the use of both regular and electronic cigarettes will only be allowed in “designated smoking areas” (DSAs) that are in open spaces or rooms with ventilation. Anyone under the age of 18 will be prohibited from entering.
Previously, smoking was banned in schools, universities, health clinics and government offices, but not indoor offices and workplaces, bars, restaurants and cafes.
The new order also puts tight restrictions on where tobacco products can be advertised. It prohibits the “placing, posting, displaying or distributing advertisement and promotional materials of tobacco products” within 100 meters of schools, playgrounds, recreational facilities and other areas frequented by minors.
People caught in violation face fines of up to $200 — a significant fee in a county where the average salary is just over $400 a month. Anyone caught providing tobacco products to minors can be sentenced to 30 days in jail.
The executive order calls on cities and municipalities to form local Smoke-Free Task forces to help enforce the order.
From mid-July, Filipinos will have to be careful where they light up.
Around one quarter of the Philippines’ population of 100 million people smoke, according to the World Health Organization, and is considered a leading cause of death in the country.
Duterte imposed a similar smoking ban in the city of Davao in 2002, during his 22-year tenure as mayor.
Nor is it just smoking prohibited in Davao. The city has multiple strict rules, including a nightly curfew for minors and restricted liquor sales during evenings and weekends — regulations which Duterte’s supporters say have significantly reduced crime.