MANILA, Philippines — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has turned to another battle aside from illegal drugs: smoking.
Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial told the Associated Press that the president has signed the draft executive order banning smoking in public nationwide.
The department has succeded in pushing for the ban and would soon start release laws for graphic health warnings on tobacco products.
Ubial said Duterte wants a 100 per cent smoke-free environment in public places similar to Davao, the southern city where he was formerly mayor.
Designated smoking areas are to be outdoors and away from the public, and local government units will be asked to issue ordinances to enforce the smoking ban and set penalties. She said e-cigarettes will be included in the ban because they too produce smoke.
Ubial said there is no reason for smokers and tobacco companies to oppose the ban.
“I don’t see any reason why they will oppose that,” she told the AP. “We’re not stopping them from smoking, we are just telling them not to smoke around non-smokers.”