The nationwide ban on smoking in public places will be implemented on July 22, health department spokesperson Dr. Eric Tayag said Friday.

“Implementation will be July 22,” Tayag said, noting that Executive Order 26 on establishing smoke-free environments in public and enclosed places, which President Rodrigo Duterte signed last May 16, takes effect 60 days after its publication in newspapers.

”The effectivity of the EO is 60 days after publication not after signing,” he pointed out.

Tayag clarified that the earlier assumption that the EO would be implemented on Saturday (July 15) was made on the basis that it was signed last May 16.

The EO does not allow smoking in public areas, such as hospitals, clinics, laboratories, schools, stairways, elevators, and areas where food is prepared, among others.

It calls on establishments to provide designated smoking areas (DSA) if they choose to allow smoking within their premises. However, DSAs should be inaccessible to non-smokers, especially minors, to protect them from second-hand smoke.

The nationwide ban on smoking in public places was one of the campaign promises of President Duterte and is considered by the DOH as a boost to its continuous advocacy to curb the preventable illnesses linked to smoking. (LSJ/PNA)