PNP ordered to strictly implement smoking ban

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The National Police Commission (Napolcom) this week ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to strictly enforce the smoking ban in public and enclosed places nationwide.

Napolcom Vice-Chairman and Executive Officer Rogelio Casurao said that Executive Order (EO) 26, which aims to establish a smoke-free environment all over the country must be strictly implemented.

In line with this, the commission issued Memorandum Circular No. 2017-003, dated November 3, 2017, reiterating the PNP’s responsibility to apprehend violators of EO 26 which President Rodrigo Duterte approved on May 16, 2017.

The directive enjoins PNP members and the Smoke-Free Task Force under the city and municipal governments, to strictly carry out the provisions of EO 26 including the apprehension of violators and the institution of criminal proceedings in accordance with relevant laws, rules and regulations, and in observance of due process.

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“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,” Casurao said.

Under EO 26 the following acts are prohibited: 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 school, public playground, 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.

EO 26 is a reinforcement of Republic Act No. 9211, also known as the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003.

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