July 15, 2024

Establishments in Baguio City are not totally barred from designating smoking areas, the City Health Services Office (CHSO) has clarified.
CSH Officer Donnabel Tubera-Panes said owners of private establishments must meet the criteria imposed by the Smoke-Free Task Force before they are allowed to assign smoking zones.
“They can designate smoking areas. They only need to apply and meet the criteria,” Panes said.
The task force requires an establishment that intends to designate a smoking zone to first apply with the CHSO and pay for the P150 inspection fee.
Panes said the designated smoking areas applied for should be outdoor or outside the establishment. Rooftops could not qualify as smoking areas.
“In Baguio, rooftops cannot be designated as smoking areas because our (topography) is inclined. The rooftop of one building might be the first floor of another building,” she said.
The designated smoking area should not have a permanent or temporary roof or wall and should not be more than 10 square meters.
Panes added the proposed smoking area should not be located within 10 meters from entrance or exit points where people pass.
No food should also be served in the proposed designated smoking area and graphic warning against the dangers of smoking should be posted in the area.
Panes said the requirements are stringent, but are not impossible to comply with.
“The criteria might be difficult, but if Davao (City) was able to do it, Baguio can do it as well,” she said.
Currently, the establishments with approved designated smoking zones after passing the requirements imposed by the Smoke-Free Task Force are International Hotels Group (IHG) at John Hay, Texas Instruments, Korean Palace along South Drive, Cholo’s along Kisad, Café Will at M.H. del Pilar St., and Lemon and Olives along Outlook Drive.
The Task Force has been aggressive in the campaign against smoking. Aside from personnel of the Public Order and Safety Division, Panes said 405 individuals have been deputized to implement the city’s Smoke-Free Ordinance.
“These individuals, who are non-smokers, have undergone proper training,” Panes said.
Aside from imposing the designated smoking zones, the Smoke-Free Ordinance bans selling or distributing tobacco products/ and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) to minors, purchasing tobacco products/ENDS from minors, ordering or instructing or compelling a minor to use or light up, buy, or sell or distribute or advertise or promote tobacco products.
Individual violators of the Smoke-Free ordinance are fined P1,000 on first offense; P2,000 on second offense; and P5,000 and possible imprisonment on third offense.
Establishment owners who violate the ordinance will be fined P2,000; P3,000; and P5,000 on first, second, and third offenses, respectively. – Jane B. Cadalig