NegOcc town sets full enforcement of smoking ban
Posted: 2017-Nov-14 16.00.00 UTC+0800
BACOLOD — Bago City in Negros Occidental will fully enforce its Comprehensive Smoke-Free Ordinance with stricter penalties next week, Mayor Nicholas Yulo said Monday.
"Our ordinance is just a reflection of the national law. In Bago City, we have not received any opposition from business and other sectors, said Mayor Nicholas Yulo.
Ordinance No. 17-03, which was launched last week, "prohibits the use, sale, distribution and advertisement of cigarettes and other tobacco products and electronic cigarettes in certain places, imposing penalties for violations, and providing funds thereof, and for other purposes."
Under the ordinance, the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products is only regulated not disallowed, the mayor said.
Yulo said that through the ordinance, the medical cost for all diseases related to smoking will go down thus, government's expenses to hospital and healthcare units will also be lesser.
The ordinance stated that its purpose is to safeguard public health and ensure the well-being of all the constituents by protecting them from the harmful effects of smoking and tobacco consumption.
The local law also aims to provide support and conducive environment for tobacco users to quit, it added.
Yulo said the ordinance is "restrictive" especially in terms of identifying and providing designated areas for smoking. Under which, designated areas should be an outdoor space duly approved by the City Health Officer where smoking and vaping may be allowed.
It should meet requirements like location, which must be an open space outside the building with no permanent or temporary roof or walls in an outdoor area; not located within 10 meters from entrances and exits or any place where people pass or congregate; it shall not have an area larger than 10 square meters; food and drinks are not served here; no building shall have more than one designated smoking area; and minors should not be allowed inside.
Designated areas should have signage visible and prominently displayed like "Smoking Area" with "Minors not allowed within these premises" and graphics health warnings in the effects of tobacco use.
Also, it shall not be located in places where absolute smoking bans are in effect, such as, but not limited to schools, youth hostels, and recreational facilities for persons under 18 years old.
Yulo said establishments, including those inside the city public market, cannot display publicly and prominently cigarettes and other tobacco products. (PNA)