Smoking set to be banned across Philippines

The ban will emulate that already in place in Davao City, where president Duterte was mayor 

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A nationwide smoking ban is set to be implemented across the Philippines, replicating rules currently observed in president Duterte’s former jurisdiction, Davao City, where he was mayor.

The new rules, which have been drawn up in an executive order and are awaiting the president’s approval, will see all public places across the country – indoor and outdoor – become smoke-free areas.

“What is being done in Davao is set to be done nationwide,” health secretary Pauline Ubial said, the Manila Bulletin reported.

“There will be nobody smoking in public places anymore, whether indoor or outdoor. Parks, bus stations, and even in vehicles. All these are considered public places,” the health secretary said, adding that the executive order is expected to be signed this month.

The move comes two weeks after president Duterte re-stated his plans to ban smoking in the Philippines, claiming that it brought diseases to both smokers and non-smokers, the Philippine Star reported.

The country’s department of health is also attempting to amend “grey areas” in the current law around the sale of tobacco. Ms Ubial said the department wants to “totally prohibit point-of-sale advertisements” for tobacco and designated indoor smoking areas.