You Cannot Do This in Public in the Philippines
Draconian edict is connected to one man's very real health scare — now an entire country is affected
Smoking in both indoor and outdoor public spaces has been banned in the Philippines — with those who disobey the law facing a maximum penalty of four months in prison and a fine of $100.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who was once a heavy smoker but quit after a health scare, signed the executive order on Tuesday.
The ban is one of the region’s strictest anti-tobacco laws and mimics the 2012 ordinance Duterte created in his hometown of Davao City, Reuters reported. Under the law, there will be designated smoking areas set up for adults and the creation of police-led anti-smoking task forces in towns and cities.
Duterte’s campaign promises had centered on eradicating drug pushers, tough punishment for criminals, and hitting hard on smoking and illegal gambling. The ban also includes vaping and e-cigarettes and is expected to impact an estimated 17 million Filipino smokers, Reuters reported.
Health advocates have long-battled tobacco lobbyists and the eight firms currently making cigarettes in the country. Nearly half of all Filipino men and 9 percent of women smoke. Experts estimate the habit costs the economy nearly $4 billion in annual health care and productivity losses.
The Philippine Tobacco Institute was not available for comment, Reuters reported.
This article originally appeared in Fox News and is used by permission. Reuters contributed to this report.
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