Warning to the Smokers! Duterte signs Executive Order On Smoking Ban

On May 16, 2017, Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte signed on the executive order (EO) on a nationwide ban on smoking in all public places.

When the Palace sources confirmed that the President already signed the EO, Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial proceeded with crafting the EO’s implementing rules and regulations.

"We are happy! It's really comprehensive and [the designated smoking areas] are very strict!" said Ubial
Executive Order 26 sets strict guidelines on designated smoking areas and bans them altogether in schools, including universities, and recreational facilities for minors

Designated smoking areas or DSAs are defined in the EO, as "an area of a building or conveyance where smoking may be allowed, which may be in an open space or separate area with proper ventilation."

The EO also specifies that a "non-smoking buffer zone" be established for DSAs not located in open spaces. The buffer zone must be between the door of the DSA and the rest of the building. There should be no part of the buffer zone that will allow air to escape to the smoke-free area except for a "single door with an automatic door closer."

A building or conveyance can have only one DSA.

Minors are prohibited from entering the DSA or its buffer zone.

The EO lists the following as areas where smoking is not allowed, hence no DSA shall be provided:
1.    Centers of youth activity such as playschools, preparatory schools, elementary schools, high schools, colleges and universities, youth hostels, and recreational facilities for minors
2.    Elevators and stairwells
3.    Locations where fire hazards are present
4.    Within premises of public and private hospitals, as well as medical, dental, and optical clinics
5.    Food preparation areas

Source: Rappler