September 26, 2023

Only six establishments – five hotels and one restaurant – in Baguio City have designated smoking areas.

According to Engr. Charles Carame, head of the City Health Services Office Sanitary Division, despite the many establishments that have applied and continue to apply for a designated smoking area, only a few have been approved so far due to the stringent requirements needed for its approval.

Designating a smoking area is required under Ordinance 34, s. 2017, or the Smoke Free Baguio Ordinance that prohibits the use, sale, distribution, and advertisement of cigarettes/e-cigarettes and other tobacco products in certain places and imposes penalties for violations.

A designated smoking area is an outdoor space where smoking and/or vaping, may be allowed.

It must be located in an open space outside the building with no permanent or temporary roof or walls in an outdoor area, must not be located in or within 10 meters from entrances, exits, or any place where people pass or congregate, and must not have an area larger than 10 square meters.

Food or drinks must not served in the designated smoking area, no building shall have more than one designated smoking area, and minors or persons below the age of 18 should not be allowed inside.

A designated smoking area should also have visible and prominently displayed signages bearing ‘Smoking Area’, ‘Minors Not Allowed’, and graphic health warnings on the effects of tobacco use.

The designated smoking area should not be located in places where absolute smoking bans are in effect.

Public Order and Safety Division Chief Enforcer Daryll Kim Longid said the only time one is allowed to smoke is when inside their home but he strongly advised against it since second and third hand smoke is harmful to their families. – Gaby B. Keith