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Education department wants all schools 100 per cent smoke-free

Selling of cigarettes 100 metres from schools is prohibited

Gulf News

Manila: The education department launched a campaign to make all schools 100 per cent smoke-fee, a senior official said, adding this will help President Rodrigo Duterte achieve a smoke-free Philippines — his vision when he signed an executive order banning smoking in all public places last May.

“The education department issued order number 48, which launched ‘Cigarette Ban in Schools’, to educate school personnel, students, and teachers about the harmful effects of smoking,” Undersecretary of Department of Education’s legal affairs Alberto Muyot said on Wednesday.

“Tobacco companies’ campaign materials such as posters and T-shirts are banned in schools,” said Muyot, adding, “Schools are not allowed to accept donations or assistance from tobacco companies.”

Selling of cigarettes 100 metres from schools is prohibited. Business permits of violators will be revoked, said Muyot, adding that a school should have a ‘Child Protection Committee’ led by a principal to report violators to local government units for immediate action.

“The education department’s initiative will strengthen the campaign of the administration to achieve a smoke-free nation,” explained Muyot when asked about the importance of the campaign.

On May 16, President Duterte signed executive order 26, which banned smoking in public places and public utility vehicles, and prohibited cigarette consumption by minors.

Selling and advertising tobacco products 100 metres away from public playgrounds, recreational facilities for minors, schools, youth hostels, and other establishments frequented by young people, are not allowed, Duterte’s executive order said, adding that smoking is allowed only in designated smoking areas (DSAs).

Distributing and selling tobacco products to minors are prohibited. Minors are prohibited from buying, selling, and smoking cigarettes. Compelling, instructing, or ordering a minor to buy, distribute, deliver, light up, promote, or use tobacco products are prohibited, said the order.

Tobacco advertisement, booths, displays, and stalls outside and inside of retail establishments or adult-only facilities are banned, the order said, adding that DSAs should have no opening to smoke-free areas, should not be within 10 metres of air ducts, entrances, exits, and lobbies where people pass or congregate. There should not be more than one DAS and not larger than 20 per cent of building’s total floor area. The areas must have independent ventilation and signage which clearly identifies it as a smoking area where minors are not allowed, and graphic warnings on ill-effects of tobacco smoking.

In 2003, selling cigarettes to minors was already illegal. In 1999, the Clean Air Act prohibited smoking indoors.