Is smoking inside your car on a public road a punishable offense?

Is this allowed?
by Drei Laurel | Jul 18, 2019
PHOTO: Vildan Uysal/Freeimages.com

Smoking’s bad for you—you’re probably aware of that. Chances are you also know that lighting up a cigarette outside of designated smoking areas in public is illegal under the Clean Air Act, and can net you a fine between a couple of hundred to a few thousand pesos.

But what about smoking inside your car? Specifically, smoking a cigarette inside your car on the road with your window down? The road is a public space, but your car is private property. So, what’s the deal?

We turned to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) for some answers.

According to the MMDA, its enforcers do not apprehend motorists for smoking inside their vehicles while on public roads because the act isn’t an offense they can issue tickets for. The agency then referred us to the LTO.

Our source within the LTO told us that there are no guidelines for smoking inside a car while driving on public roads, saying the issue is under a “gray area.” So again, no clear answer but it seems you cannot be apprehended for the act.

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Let’s refer to the definition of ‘public space’ under Executive Order (EO) No. 26: Providing for the Establishment of Smoke-Free Environments in Public and Enclosed Spaces.

Under the President’s order, public spaces are “all places, fixed or mobile, that are accessible or open to the public or places for collective use, regardless of ownership or right to access, including but not limited to schools, workplaces, government facilities, establishments that provide food and drinks, accommodation, merchandise, professional services, entertainment or other services,” EO No. 26 reads.

“It also includes outdoor spaces where facilities are available  for the public or where a crowd of people would gather, such as, but not limited to, playgrounds, sports grounds centers, church grounds, health/hospital compounds, transportation terminals, markets, parks, resorts, walkways/sidewalks, entrance ways, waiting areas, and the like,” the document continues.

What do you think? Should smoking inside cars on public roads be allowed? Or should it be a fineable offense? Let us know in the comments.

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PHOTO: Vildan Uysal/Freeimages.com
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