Smoking in public places to be banned across Philippines soon

Smoking in public places to be banned across Philippines soon
PHOTO: Reuters

Smoking will be banned in all public places across the Philippines really soon, local media reported.

The country's Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol was quoted by ABS-CBN News as saying President Rodrigo Duterte will sign the pertinent executive order as early as today (Mar 7).

Plans for the tough anti-tobacco law were first announced in October.

The regulation will make it illegal to smoke in both indoor and outdoor public places, which include parks, bus stations and in public vehicles.

The draft of the executive order is reportedly patterned after the existing smoking ban in Davao City - implemented by Duterte himself when he was mayor.

The president, a former smoker, is known for his tough stance against cigarettes due to his own nicotine-induced illnesses.

The 71-year-old previously said he suffers from Buerger's disease and Barrett's esophagus among other ailments but added they are "not fatal".

He has insisted there is "no debate" on the detrimental health effects caused by smoking.

According to a report by Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance released last month, the Philippines ranks ninth among the world's top tobacco markets.

huizhen@sph.com.sg

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