QC gov’t regulates use of e-cigarettes in public places
Marje Pelayo • March 20, 2019 • 1467
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Quezon City government has approved a city ordinance regulating the use of electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes in public places, including advertisements and promotions regarding it.
On Tuesday (March 20) the QC government issued a press release that says Mayor Herbert Bautista has approved City Ordinance 2737-2018 which aims to protect the health and welfare of the residents of Quezon City.
It also includes provisions that will safeguard the interests of all stakeholders “including smokers who have the right to choose less harmful alternatives to cigarettes.”
The ordinance covers places of worship, hospitals or other healthcare centers, public conveyances, government offices, and educational or recreational facilities primarily intended for minors.
E-cigarettes will only be allowed in all enclosed places, whether public or private use, provided that the owner, operator or administrator of the establishment shall post: “USE OF E-CIGARETTES IS ALLOWED INSIDE” in each entrance of the building.
Private workplaces may designate a vaping area in open spaces with proper ventilation but shall not be the same room as the designated smoking area.
It is unlawful under the ordinance to purchase e-cigarettes from a minor, for minors to sell e-cigarettes, and for minors to purchase e-cigarettes.
Only direct marketing and online ads are allowed for e-cigarettes but must not appeal to audience 18 years and below.
The ads must specifically depict the use of e-cigarettes only to persons above 25 years of age.
It must not show or portray the actual use of e-cigarettes that will undermine quit-smoking messages and encourage non-tobacco or non-nicotine users to use the product.
All allowable advertisements and promotional materials for nicotine receptacles shall contain the health warning: “This product may damage your health and is addictive” occupying 10% of the bottom area of the advertisement.
Penalties for violations of the ordinance include:
First offense: Not less than P500 but not more than P1,000;
Second offense: More than P1,000 but not more than P2,500;
Third offense: Not less than P2,500 but not more than P5,000 and cancellation/revocation of the business permit or license to operate of the offender. — Marje Pelayo
The Quezon City government is proposing to use parking spaces in malls as a solution to the illegal parking problem in the city.
This was after the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) imposed a 60-day deadline for city mayors to conduct road clearing in their respective cities.
According to Quezon City Traffic Chief Atty. Ariel Inton, this can be a solution to the illegal parking problem in the city. However, Inton said parking fares should be low.
“Ang mga challenge niyan, number one kailangan kung may sisingilin mababa. Number two, iyong mga tao mismo dapat masanay sa ganoon, konting lakad lang naman ito, (The challenge is, number one, the parking fares should be low. Number two, the people should get used to it, it’s just a short walk),” he said.
The Quezon City government is also looking for vacant private lots which can also be used as parking spaces.
Meanwhile, the city government continues to conduct clearing operations. On Tuesday (Aug 13), authorities issued violation tickets to illegally parked vehicles along the streets of Barangay Socorro.—AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) has banned the use of vapes and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) in public places.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on June 14 signed the Administrative Order (AO) 2009-0007 which prohibits the use of vapes (vaporizers) and e-cigarettes, as well as tasking local government units to apprehend violators.
The order imposes penalties on violators, depending on local ordinances enforced by the town or city where the smoker was apprehended.
The signing of the AO comes two years after President Rodrigo Duterte issued the Executive Order 25 which bans cigarette smoking in public and limits it to designated smoking areas.
This order will expand the smoking ban in public places to include vapes and e-cigarettes. Manufacturing, distribution and sale of vapes and related items will also be regulated.
The move follows the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) to regulate or ban the use of e-cigarettes and related products once it is proven that these also contain cancer-causing chemicals that are found in traditional cigarettes.
“We need to regulate this. We need to make sure that the nicotine delivery system as well as the electronic non-nicotine system kasama iyong e-cig, mga vapes at ng lahat ng mga ito will be subject to regulatory control,” Duque told reporters in an interview during the relaunching of DOH’s school-based immunization program on Wednesday.
The DOH said the AO is seen to take effect next month after it is published in a national publication. (with details from Aiko Miguel)
Tobacco kills eight million people each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Wednesday (May 29), ahead of World No Tobacco Day on Friday (May 31).
The WHO said 40 percent of tobacco victims die from lung diseases and about one million from second-hand smoke.
More than 60,000 children under 5 years old die of lower respiratory infections caused by second-hand smoke, WHO director for non-communicable diseases, Vinayak Prasad, said in a briefing.
“Out of these 8 million, we have about 3.3 million — about 40% — of these deaths, due to lung diseases. What are these lung diseases: cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, and even tuberculosis,” said WHO Department for the Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases Director, Dr. Vinayak Prasad.
Globally, there are around 1.1 billion smokers.
Anti-tobacco campaigns and measures are bearing fruit, but mostly in high-income countries, Prasad said, while the smoking population remained constant or even increased in low-income countries, where the tobacco industry is now focusing sales efforts.
Prasad issued a caveat on e-cigarettes, saying there is no evidence proving they are a safer alternative to cigarettes, warning that it normalizes smoking and hooks young people.
“There is a perception that these are safe products and it is actually hitting the market and the group which is most vulnerable — children, teenage children…So it is a problem we are seeing in a number of countries now,” he said.
The WHO recommends that e-cigarettes be subjected to the same guidelines as for tobacco products, meaning non-smokers should be protected from second-hand smoke, pregnant women should be prohibited from using them, and advertising content must be regulated.
“These products (e-cigarettes) are not smokeless, these products are tobacco products, so there are two big things: one is these are tobacco products, and our recommendations as WHO (World Health Organization) is ‘please regulate them as tobacco products’. The claims that these are less harmful… We don’t know,” he said.
“There is no evidence to demonstrate that and therefore we follow the precautionary principle: take precautions, treat them as tobacco products, and regulate them, the way you regulate for other products,” he added.
Earlier this week, more than 100 public health and anti-tobacco organizations called on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to take swift action to curb advertising of tobacco products on their platforms.
This is after a Reuters report documented how cigarette maker Philip Morris International has used young personalities on Instagram to sell a new “heated tobacco” product called IQOS. (REUTERS)
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