BAGUIO CITY – Health authorities claimed the passage of Ordinance No. 34, series of 2017 which prohibits the use, sale, distribution and advertisement of cigarettes and other tobacco products in certain places in the city and imposing penalties for violations is a public health victory.
Dra. Donabel Tubera, medical officer and head of the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit of the City Health Services Office, said health workers were elated to learn that the city’s comprehensive anti-smoking ordinance was passed by the local legislative body and subsequently signed into law by the local chief executive.
“We consider the enactment of the city’s comprehensive anti-smoking ordinance as a public health victory that is why smokers should start abandoning their vice to avoid paying stiffer fines or face imprisonment,” Tubera stressed.
She said one of the salient features of the city’s anti-smoking ordinance is the inclusion of e-cigarettes in the coverage of the measure to help rid the city from excessive cigarette smoke emanating from smokers.
Under the ordinance, the prohibited acts include smoking or vaping in enclosed or partially enclosed public places, workplaces, public conveyances, whether mobile or stationary, or other public places, such as those contained in the measure, except in designated smoking areas duly approved and fully compliant with the requirements of the ordinance; knowingly allowing, abetting, or tolerating smoking in accommodation establishments, whether tourism-accredited or not, except when smoking within the duly designated smoking areas allowed under the ordinance; smoking while inside a government-owned or public utility vehicle whether moving or stationary or while solicitation of passengers is on-going on or while the vehicle is waiting.
It prohibits persons-in-charge to allow, abet or tolerate smoking or vaping in places enumerated in the ordinance outside of approved designated smoking areas.
The selling or distributing tobacco products and/or ends to minors; purchasing and selling tobacco products; ordering, instructing or compelling a minor to use, light up, buy, sell, distribute, deliver, advertise or promote tobacco products and or ends; selling or distributing tobacco products in a school, public playground or other facility frequented by minors; selling of tobacco products within the premises of a government facility; selling tobacco products without a business permit to sell the same; selling tobacco products per stick; selling tobacco products without the proper government regulated and approved health warning; selling tobacco products by ambulant or street vendors; selling or distributing of sweets, snacks, toys or any other objects in the form of tobacco products which may appeal to minors are further prohibited.
The promotion of the use of tobacco and/or tobacco products are also banned like placing cinema or outdoor advertisement of tobacco products; placing, posting, displaying in distributing advertisement and promotional materials of tobacco products; conducting promotional activities, campaigns, events, product sampling and the life where the establishment or its location is prohibited from selling or unauthorized to sell tobacco products; displaying and placing tobacco products in open store shelves and facilitation, participation or partnership engaged by any government official or personnel regardless of employment status in any form of contribution, sponsorship or corporate social responsibility activity, event, program or project by tobacco companies, tobacco industry front groups or any representation working to protect the tobacco industry interest.
By Dexter A. See http://baguioheraldexpressonline.com