When the government issued a nationwide ban on smoking in public places, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and vapes were left out of the equation—the crackdown focused only on traditional cigarettes.
That has since changed, however, because the Department of Health has recently issued a ban on the use of e-cigarettes and vapes in public places through Administrative Order (AO) 2019-0007.
The order states that these devices—including Electronic Nicotine and Non-nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS and ENNDS) with aerosolized solutions—affect smokers the same way traditional cigarettes do and are thus just as harmful to the lungs.
Now, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has expressed its support for the said AO. MMDA chairman Danilo Lim mentioned in a statement the agency’s intention to help enforce the said policy in the metro. You can check out the MMDA’s official Facebook post below:
“Umaasa akong mahigpit na mapapatupad ang utos bilang suporta na rin sa ating ‘smoke-free environment’ campaign,” says Lim.
In a previous inspection by the MMDA, there has been an increasing number of vape shops in Metro Manila as of late—most of which even operate without legitimate registration or within a 100-meter radius of schools in the city.
The MMDA chairman also mentioned that the agency will work together with Local Government Units (LGUs) to help inspect these establishments within the metro.
“Handa ang ating ahensya na magbigay ng technical assistance para sa mga LGUs sa pagbuo ng kani-kanilang ordinansa laban sa e-cigarettes,” Lim adds.
It’s safe to say that we can expect stricter enforcement of this policy starting in the coming months. So if you’re an e-cigarette or vape user yourself, consider yourself warned.