Duterte signs EO on nationwide smoking ban in public places

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 18) — President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the executive order banning smoking in public places nationwide.

The Office of the Executive Secretary confirmed this is now Executive Order (EO) No. 26, signed on May 16, which aims to establish" smoke-free environments in public and enclosed places."

Smoking is no longer allowed except in designated smoking areas that follow guidelines set by law.

However, smoking areas are banned in certain public places such as schools, elevators and stairwells, fire hazard locations, medical facilities, and food preparation areas.

The Order also reinforces the Republic Act (RA) No. 9211, or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003, which "prohibits the purchase and sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products to and by minors and in certain places frequented by minors."

All cities and municipalities nationwide are also "enjoined to form a local Smoke-Free Task Force," which will help impose the provisions of EO No. 26.

The EO also cited penalties, as provisioned by RA 9211, which entail a fine of P500 to P10,000 for those violating the rules for smoking in public places.

Those who will violate the provisions on providing tobacco products to minors may be fined P5,000, face imprisonment of up to 30 days, or revocation of business licenses and permits.

Earlier, Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial told CNN Philippines' The Source that the document, patterned after Davao's smoking ordinance, was submitted to the President on March 7 for signing.

The order will take effect 60 days after publication in newspapers of nationwide circulation.