No Smoking in Public Places Policy: 5 Things You Need to Know
(Updated April 5, 2017)
1. What does a Smoke-Free environment means?
SMOKE-FREE refers to ban on smoking which provides effective protection from environmental tobacco smoke or second-hand smoke. (Source: DOH AO 2009-10)
2. What are the effects of second - hand smoke?
- Non-smoking adults who are exposed to second-hand smoke at home or at work have a 25% to 30% increased risk of developing lung cancer.
- Babies of non-smoking women who are exposed to second-hand smoke during pregnancy are at risk of experiencing a reduction in birth weight.
- Maternal milk production is less in smokers compared with non-smokers, and the production decreases as the number of cigarettes smoked per day increases.
- In infants and children, second-hand smoke exposure causes sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), acute respiratory infections, middle ear disease, more severe asthma, respiratory symptoms, and slowed lung growth.
3. What are the legal basis applicable in the Philippines?
a. The Philippines is a party to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Treaty in 2005.
b. RA 9211, the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003
- definition of "public place"- enclosed or confined areas of all hospitals, medical clinics, schools, public transportation terminals and offices, and buildings such as private and public offices, recreational places, shopping malls, movie houses, hotels restaurants and the like." (Section 4 (n))
- the absolute smoking ban applies to the following public places:
- centers of youth activity such as schools, preparatory schools, elementary schools, high schools, colleges and universities, youth hostels and recreational facilities for person under 18
- elevators and stairwells
- locations in which fire hazards are present, including gas stations and storage areas for flammable liquids, gas, explosives or combustible materials
- within the buildings and premises of public and private hospitals, medical, dental and optical clinics, health centers, nursing homes, dispensaries and laboratories
- public conveyances and public facilities including airport and ship terminals and train and bus stations, restaurants and conference halls, except for separate smoking areas.
- food preparation areas(Section 5)
- because of the overarching definition of public places, the foregoing enumeration is construed to mean only such places which are enclosed or confined (Sec. 5 does not distinguish open from enclosed or confined spaces. The places mentioned therein shall be absolutely smoke free. So, whether it is an open space in a school, smoking is still prohibited. It should not be construed to mean only such places which are enclosed or confined. You may consider deleting this paragraph.)
- Sec. 6 of the Act refers to areas where smoking is not absolutely prohibited. Nevertheless, owners/proprietors/administrators of such places are required to designate smoking/non-smoking areas:
- all enclosed spaces open to the general public;
- private workplaces; and
- other places not covered under Section 5 where non-smokers may be exposed to tobacco smoke
- Penalty for smoking in places where smoking is absolutely prohibited (Sec. 32):
- 1st offense: Php 500 - Php 1,000;
- 2nd offense: Php 1,000 - Php 5,000;
- 3rd offense: Php 5,000 - Php 10,000 and cancellation/revocation of franchise or business permit.
(RA 9211 did not provide community services as an alternative penalty.)
c. RA 8749 - CLEAN AIR ACT (1999) and its IRR
- RA 8749, Section 24. Pollution From Smoking.- Smoking inside a public building or an enclosed public place including public vehicles and other means of transport or in any enclosed area outside of one's private residence, private place of work or any duly designated smoking area is hereby prohibited under this Act. This provision shall be implemented by the LGU's.
IRR, RULE XXIX, Section 1. Ban on Smoking.- The Local Government Units (LGU's) shall within six (6) months from the effectivity of these Implementing Rules and Regulations, implement or enforce a ban on smoking inside a public building or in any enclosed area outside of one's private residence, private place of work or any duly designated smoking area which shall be enclosed.
Penalty: IRR RULE LVI Section 5. Smoking in Public Places. - Any person who smokes inside a public building or an enclosed public place, including public utility vehicles or other means of public transport or in any enclosed area outside of his private residence, private place of work or any duly designated smoking area shall be punished with six (6) months and one (1) day to one (1) year imprisonment or a fine of ten thousand pesos (P 10,000.00)
d. CSC MEMO CIRCULAR NO. 17-2009 Re: 100% Smoke-Free Environment Policy
- Legal Basis: RA 9211 and WHO-Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
- Salient Provisions:
- Absolute Prohibition of Smoking in or on the premises, buildings, and grounds of government agencies providing health, education and/or social welfare and development services such as hospitals, health centers, schools and universities, colleges, etc.No "Smoking Areas" shall be designated in such places.
- In all other government agencies, the head of agency may designate a smoking area in an outdoor space provided that it meets the defined requirements.
- ashtrays to be removed except in smoking areas
- Smoking prohibited in government vehicles
- Building administrators are required to ensure strict compliance with the no-smoking policy
- Penal Provision: violations shall be ground for disciplinary action pursuant to Rule XIV (Discipline) of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of EO 292
e. The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) passed MEMORANDUM CIRCULAR NO. 2009-036 prohibits smoking in all Public Utility Vehicles, and public land transportation terminals.
- First Offense – fine of P 2,000.00
- Second Offense – fine of P 3,000.00 and suspension of CPC for 60 days and confiscation of “For Hire” plate
- Third Offense – fine of P 5,000.00 and cancellation of CPC
f. LGU ORDINANCES/ISSUANCES ON TOBACCO CONTROL/NON-SMOKING
- Each of the Local Government Unit of Metro Manila has its own policy on tobacco control
4. Who are implementing these policies and apprehending violators in Metropolitan Manila?
- The 17 local government units in Metropolitan Manila are implementing their respective ordinances in their own localities.
5. What is the MMDA's role in promoting smoke-free environment?
MMDA assists in the promotion of smoke-free environment policy and public awareness on the effects of tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke. MMDA also provides technical assistance to the 17 local government units in the development of policies, capacity building, communication strategies and monitoring of compliance.