Nationwide smoking ban starts July 23

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 13) — The smoking ban will take effect starting July 23, Department of Health (DOH) Spokesperson Enrique Tayag clarified on Friday.

He said on Thursday the nationwide smoking ban will start on June 15.

The DOH and other agencies agreed to release their own versions of the IRR.

"Ang nangyari po, walang pangkalahatang IRR. Ang (DOH) ay may sariling version ng IRR, and ibang ahensya, meron ding sariling version ng IRR. Kung kailan ilalabas, sana sa lalong madaling panahon," Tayag said.

[Translation: We don't have a single IRR. DOH has its own, and other agencies have their own versions. We hope to release them as soon as possible.]

Tayag said among the important provisions in the executive order was the requirement to put up a buffer zone between the smoking zone and the public area.

"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," Tayag said.

[Translation: Aside from the designated smoking room, there should be another room or space where the smoke can dissipate. If that is not how the smoking areas are set up, then refrain from labeling it as such because it can be considered a violation.]

The smoking ban, or Executive Order (EO) No. 26 was signed on May 16 by President Rodrigo Duterte and aims to establish "smoke-free environments in public and enclosed places."

RELATED: Duterte signs EO on nationwide smoking ban in public places

There's already a law in the Philippines banning smoking in public places — Republic Act 9211 or The Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 — and the Philippines has been a signatory to a tobacco control treaty for more than a decade.

According to an advocate, the Executive Order is necessary to address certain gray areas, including the definition of "public places" and the kinds of tobacco products that will be banned.

RELATED: No-smoking policy EO awaiting Duterte's signature

CNN Philippines correspondent Joyce Ilas contributed to this report.