The Pasay City government today announced that it is prohibiting vaping and smoking e-cigarettes in the city’s public places, including schools, hospitals, government offices, and recreational facilities.
Under the new City Ordinance 6061, vape shop owners are also banned from selling e-cigarette products to minors. Vape users will be allowed to smoke in areas designated by a public or private building.
If caught violating the ordinance, both vape shop owners and smokers can be given a PHP2,000 (US$40) fine or be ordered to do 12 hours of community service, which will include cleaning the area where they were caught. Second-time offenders will be slapped with PHP3,000 (US$60) fines or 18 hours of public service, while those caught for the third time will be fined PHP4,000 (US$79) or ordered to do 24 hours of public service. The village chairman will oversee the community service completion, and the Pasay City Police Station will record the violator’s conviction.
Pasay City Mayor Emi Calixtano-Rubiano said in today’s statement that it was high time for the city “to impose stricter measures on these substances to protect the youth and the general public against the ill-effects of cigarette smoking and vaping.” He also cited studies from Johns Hopkins and the American Society of Clinical Oncology, which said that there were hazardous effects from smoking e-cigarettes such as severe lung disease, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
She added that while the Philippines has made progress in controlling and banning public tobacco use in the last two years, “people continue to die and become sick needlessly, and the costs to society from tobacco use continue to mount.”
Calixtano-Rubiano added that the World Health Organization is already compiling cases where vaping is believed to have contributed to a patient’s disease. Meanwhile, the Philippines’ health department has said that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has documented 1,299 illnesses and 26 deaths that were believed to be vaping-related.
This article, Pasay City bans public vaping, citing health risks, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!