Smoking Ban in Metro Manila

The Philippines is not lacking in laws regulating smoking in public places. There are at least two national laws: The Clean Air Act of 1999 (Republic Act 8749) and the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 (RA 9211).

Section 24 of the Clean Air Act says it is unlawful to smoke inside public buildings or any enclosed public place, vehicles, and “any enclosed area outside of one’s private residence, private place of work o any duly designated smoking area.”

The Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003, meanwhile, bans smoking in enclosed public areas and requires establishments to designate a smoking area.

There are about 450 local anti-smoking ordinances known in at least 340 LGUs, as of 2004, according to a study conducted by the health department’s Bureau of International Health Cooperation. Some of them were in effect even before the Tobacco Regulation Act was passed in 2003. The city of Manila, for instance, had its first anti-smoking ordinance in 1969.

Strict implementation of these laws and ordinances remains a problem, though.

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