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Ejercito urges DoH to launch intensive smoking ban drive

Sen. JV Ejercito has put to task the Department of Health (DoH) to initiate an intensive media campaign on the President Duterte’s executive order (EO) banning smoking in public places nationwide.
“As Senate health committee chair, I am calling on the DoH to initiate an intensive media campaign — TV, radio, print, social media, and other information drives — as EO No. 26 takes effect to make enforcement less challenging,” he said.
“Davao City’s smoking ban has been proven to be effective, and I earnestly hope that EO 26 would be enforced effectively as well nationwide,” Ejercito added.
The DoH has cited smoking as a risk factor that accounts for more than 85 percent of lung cancer deaths.
“Lung cancer is also the third leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the Philippines. With Davao City as primary example of a smoke-free city, it is just incumbent for President Duterte to act on this through a nationwide smoking ban in all public places,” he said.
The signing of the EO was made in time for the celebration of the World No Tobacco Day on May 31.
It provides standards for a spot to be considered a designated smoking area (DSA) which may either be an open space or a separate area with proper ventilation. A DSA shall also have a non-smoking buffer zone and is also barred from being located within 10 meters from entrances, exits or any place where people pass or congregate or in front of air intake ducts.
Designated smoking areas or DSAs are defined in the EO as an “an area of a building or conveyance where smoking may be allowed, which may be in an open space or separate area with proper ventilation.”
The EO also specifies that a “non-smoking buffer zone” be established for DSAs not located in open spaces. The buffer zone must be between the door of the DSA and the rest of the building. There should be no part of the buffer zone that will allow air to escape to the smoke-free area except for a “single door with an automatic door closer.”
The EO lists the following as areas where smoking is not allowed, hence no DSA shall be provided: centers of youth activity such as playschools, preparatory schools, elementary schools, high schools, colleges and universities, youth hostels and recreational facilities for minors; elevators and stairwells; Locations where fire hazards are present; within premises of public and private hospitals, medical, dental, optical clinics; and, food preparation areas.

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