The Philippine National Police (PNP) have been ordered to strictly enforce the crackdown on public smoking.
The decision to call in the PNP was made National Police Commission (Napolcom). Vice-Chairman and Executive Officer Rogelio Casurao issued the order to arrest smokers violating President Duterte’s executive order No. 26, which was approved in May this year.
The PNP will now work alongside the various ‘Smoke-Free Task Forces’ set up by city and municipal governments across the country.
Mr Casurao said: “With 10 Filipinos dying prematurely from tobacco-related diseases every hour, according to the World Health Organization, the Napolcom sternly calls for the cooperation of the police and the local government units to take firm action against violators who endanger and neglect the right of every citizen to breathe clean air.”
The smoking crackdown effectively bans smoking in any public place other than in designated smoking areas. Despite the comprehensive nature of the order, its convoluted wording has led to some confusion over its scope. For example, the order, absurdly, mentioned aeroplanes as places where smoking was no longer allowed
The smoking small print…
Executive Order No. 26 provides the following prohibited acts: smoking within enclosed public places and public conveyances; for persons-in-charge to allow, abet or tolerate smoking in the aforementioned places and outside of a designated smoking area; for any person to sell, distribute or purchase tobacco products to and from minors; for a minor to smoke, sell or buy cigarettes or any tobacco products; ordering, instructing or compelling a minor to use, light up, buy, sell, distribute, deliver, advertise or promote tobacco products; selling or distributing tobacco products in schools, public playgrounds, youth hostels and recreational facilities for minors; placing, posting, displaying or distributing promotional materials of tobacco products within 100 meters from the perimeter of a school, public playground and other facilities frequented by minors; placing any form of tobacco advertisement outside of the premises of point-of-sale establishments and placing any stall, booth and other displays concerning tobacco promotions in areas outside the premises of point-of-sale locations or adult-only facilities.