Duterte bans smoking in public
PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte will this month ban smoking in public, the health department said yesterday, further strengthening some of the toughest tobacco regulation in Asia.
The firebrand leader has waged a ruthless law and order campaign since July that has left more than 3000 people dead while, as a long-time mayor of the southern city of Davao, he imposed curfews on minors and banned public alcohol sales at night and shirtless men.
The upcoming law is in addition to legislation banning tobacco advertising and regulating smoking in indoor public places, as well as a statute that requires graphic images of smoking health hazards to be printed on cigarette packaging.
“There has been a significant reduction in smoking, but the reduction has been slow,” assistant health secretary Eric Tayag said.
The World Health Organization said 20.6 percent of the Philippine population smoked as of 2013, 10 years after the tobacco regulation act was passed.
Meanwhile, in a speech at the presidential palace on October 11, Mr Duterte said he would soon visit China and hoped also to travel to Russia, as he again criticised longtime ally the United States for being “arrogant”.
The mission to China will be Mr Duterte’s first since assuming the presidency on June 30. –