Smokers defy ban in Cebu public areas

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News - Visitación) (Ayin

CEBU CITY - The Department of Health in Region 7 (DOH-7) expressed alarm over reports that many people still smoke cigarette in public places despite an existing laws against smoking in those areas.

The DOH reminded smokers of the Executive Order 26 or the Nationwide Smoking Ban which took effect on July 23.

Maria Ligaya Moneva, DOH-7’S Health Education and Promotion Officer, said they continue to receive texts messages claiming people smoke in casinos, parking lots, and other public areas where smoking is not allowed.

But despite the nationwide ban on smoking in public places, there had been no or few apprehensions made by authorities and local government. “Daghan pagbuhaton, we admit. Sa pagkakaron, magtinabangay ta sa pagpahimangno o pagpadlong (sa mga smokers in public places),” Moneva said, adding, they will keep informing and reminding the public of the ill-effects of smoking.

Under EO 26, it is prohibited to smoke within enclosed public places and public conveyances except in Designated Smoking Areas (DSA). Private establishments are entitled one DSA that must comply with specifications such as a buffer zone and 10 squaremeter space. Buying from or selling to minors is also prohibited as well as selling tobacco within 100 meters of premises frequented by minors such as schools, playgrounds, and churches.

The penalty for smoking in prohibited areas and violation of DSA standards is P500 up to P1000 for the first offense; P1000 up to P5000 for the second offense; and P5000 up to P10,000 for the third offense. On the third offense, aside from the fine, business permits and licenses to operate will be cancelled or revoked.

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