'Vapes' not covered by smoking ban EO but...


Posted at May 21 2017 11:23 AM | Updated as of May 21 2017 11:52 AM

MANILA - "Vapes" are not included in Executive Order 26 but this does not stop establishments from banning e-cigarettes, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

DOH Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag said they are still studying the possible bad effects of vaping that gained popularity recently.

"May mga eksperto na nagsasabing makakatulong siya para huminto sa paninigarilyo. Meron din namang nagsasabing ito ang paraan para mag-umpisa ka sa traditional smoking," he told radio DZMM on Sunday.

To support the nationwide smoking ban, local government units can also make ordinances that would ban vaping in public places, according to Tayag.

In Baguio, an ordinance against vaping in public was already passed.

"Naglabas na po ang FDA (Food and Drugs Authority) ng impormasyon tungkol diyan (vape), na nakakasama 'yan sa kalusugan," he added.

Meanwhile, Tayag reminded establishments to start discussing how to implement the smoking ban EO.

He said the EO will take effect on July 15 and establishments still have to time to make sure their designated smoking areas (DSA) follow the policy.

The EO specifies the following requirements for a DSA: 

- It may either be an open space or a separate area with proper ventilation.
- It can be in an enclosed space but should have no opening that allows air to escape into smoke-free areas of a building or conveyance, except for a single door that automatically closes.
- It should also have a non-smoking buffer zone. The combined area for a DSA and its buffer zone should not be larger than 20 percent of the total floor area of the building or conveyance.
- It should not be located within 10 meters from entrances, exits, or any place where people pass or congregate, or in front of air intake ducts. 
- There shall be no more than one DSA in a building, and the chosen area should bear proper signage. 
- Minors are prohibited from DSAs.
- There should be no DSAs in schools, hospitals, clinics, food preparation areas, and areas where fire hazards are present.