Amid confusion on start of smoking ban, DOH clarifies it will take effect on July 23

The national smoking ban will take effect on July 23, according to Department of Health Spokesperson Eric Tayag on Friday afternoon, July 14.

He made the clarification after announcing on July 13 that the ban will start on June 15.
“Sorry po. We recalculated date of effectivity of EO (Executive Order) 26 nationwide #smokingban. It officially starts next Sunday July 23, 2017 NOT July 22,” Tayag said in his tweet.

Tayag said that there are differing versions of IRR from the DOH and other agencies.

Ang nangyari powalang pangkalahatang IRR. Ang (DOH) ay may sariling version ngIRR, and ibang ahensyameron ding sariling version ng IRR. Kung kailan ilalabassana sa lalong madaling panahon,” Tayag said.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed EO No. 26 on May 16 to foster “smoke-free environments in public and enclosed spaces.”

However, the effectivity of the Executive Order starts 60 days after it was published in a major daily. Tayag said that it was first published by Manila Bulletin on May 23, hence the July 23 effectivity of the smoking ban.

“Una, kung pagbabasehan natin ‘yung May 16, petsa na nilagdaan ng ating Pangulo, bukas (ito ipapatupad); subalit doon sa executive order, 60 days after ng publication sa isang major daily,” Tayag told ABS-CBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda.
Under EO No. 26, smoking is forbidden in hospitals, clinics, schools, food preparation areas, locations with fire hazards, recreational facilities for minors, and stairwells and elevators.

Instead, smokers are only allowed to smoke in designated smoking areas (DSA) in some buildings. These may be an area with proper ventilation or an open space. DSAs will also be filled with posters detailing the bad effects of smoking.

Smoking areas in an enclosed space must not have any opening to prevent smoke from escaping into another area, except for a single automatic door. They should also have a non-smoking buffer zone.

“Maliban sa may kwarto ka kung saan lamang pwede manigarilyo, paglabas po noon, merong isa pang espasyo o kwarto kung saan, kung sakali man tumakas ang usok, ay wala pa pong maapektuhan bago pa bumukas ang pinto para sa publiko. Kung hindi ganoon, wag na kayo maglagay ng smoking area kasi violation po iyon,” he said.

Each building should have only one DSA with proper signage and it should not be situated within 10 meters from any entrance or exit, area where people often meet, or near air intake ducts.

“Kung may violation po ‘yung nanigarilyo sa no-smoking area, sila po ay mapapatawan din ng violation,” he said.

Penalties may reach up to P100,000 or jail time for six years, as per the penalties imposed by Republic Act 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003.

Sources: ( , )

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