Big tobacco firm backs proposed nationwide smoking ban


Posted at Oct 10 2016 05:00 PM

MANILA - British American Tobacco Philippines (BAT) on Monday said it supports the proposed nationwide smoking ban in public places.

James Michael Lafferty, chief executive of BAT, said the company would have no issue with the implementation of a smoking ban. 

"We don’t see any issue with the new administration pushing for a more uniform enforcement across all local government units," Lafferty said in a statement.

Smoking bans are already being implemented throughout the country in varying degrees of enforcement through Republic Act 9211, Lafferty said.

Among the public areas where smoking is not allowed under RA 9211 are schools, elevators, hospitals, and public facilities, including airport and ship terminals; train and bus stations; and restaurants, except for separate smoking areas.

BAT has also supported the Sin Tax Law and the Graphic Health Warning Law enacted under the Aquino administration.

“We may be in a controversial industry but we can still take responsible and honorable positions,” Lafferty said.

President Rodrigo Duterte, a former smoker, is keen on implementing a smoking ban nationwide, saying that smoking only brings pollution and disease.