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Stricter anti-smoking law up for Davao City

Date Published: April 24, 2013

By JBE

DAVAO CITY -- Residents are preparing for the implementation of an expanded anti-smoking ordinance by the middle of next week with a task force stepping up its awareness campaign of the stricter law.

Dr. Domilyn C. Villareiz, chairperson of the task force, said the group has conferred with barangay (village) leaders to disseminate the information on the new ordinance which will take effect on May 31. 

The expanded anti-smoking law, or Ordinance No. 0367-12, effectively repeals Ordinance No. 043-02 or The Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance of Davao City approved in 2002 that prohibited smoking in public places, enclosed spaces, buildings and establishments, public motor vehicles and in government facilities.

The new law will ban smoking in all establishments, and smoking areas will be limited to outdoors with the corresponding sign to alert the public. Smoking areas in buildings will be prohibited.

The new law also expanded the prohibition to electronic cigarettes and shisha or waterpipe.

Violators will be fined 1,000 for the first offense, 2,500 for second offense and 5,000 for third and subsequent infractions.

Fines were raised from the previous law’s 300 for first-time violators and 1,000 or four months imprisonment for third offense.

The task force has reported that nearly 11,000 violators were apprehended and fined during the 10-year implementation of the law.

Mr. Villareiz also said the revised ordinance simplified the procedure of enforcement by reducing paperwork. The police or enforcement team will simply issue a ticket to the violator who will then settle the matter with the local court.

Since it was passed and implemented 10 years ago, the city has received several commendations both locally and abroad for being one of the pioneering local government units to have successfully followed through with its anti-smoking campaign.

It is also a multiple recipient of the Department of Health’s (DoH) Red Orchid Award that recognizes efforts of local government units and government institutions for a tobacco-free environment.

Davao City earned a spot in the award’s Hall of Fame after winning the Red Orchid Award for three consecutive years.

The DoH said that 240 Filipinos die each day from tobacco-related illnesses. 

reposted from bworldonline.com, April 21 2013

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