MANILA, Philippines – Quezon City has passed an ordinance regulating the use of e-cigarettes or vaping in public spaces, the city information office announced on Wednesday, March 20.
Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista signed City Ordinance 2737-2018, which aims to protect “the health and welfare of residents of Quezon City” while still allowing e-cigarette users to smoke.
E-cigarettes are generally safer than the combusted tobacco rolls as users get their nicotine fix by inhaling vapor instead of smoke. This doesn’t mean however that it is completely safe to go unregulated. (READ: DOH: ‘Barely any evidence’ to prove e-cigarettes safe)
The ordinance prohibits the use of e-cigarettes inside the following areas:
- Places of worship
- Hospitals and healthcare centers
- Public conveyances
- Government offices
- Educational facilities primarily intended for minors
- Recreational facilities primarily intended for minors
E-cigarettes are allowed in other enclosed spaces, as long as the manager or owner of the areas post an easily seen sign saying “USE OF E-CIGARETTES IS ALLOWED INSIDE.”
Private companies may designate an open or closed area for vaping. Should they decide to set up a closed area, it should not be the same as the enclosed area for tobacco smokers.
The law also prohibits minors from buying and selling e-cigarettes. Advertisements, meanwhile, are banned from targeting minors too.
Those who violate the ordinance will be punished based on the number of the offense:
- First offense – P500 to P1,000 fine
- Second offense – P1,000 to P2,500 fine
- Third offense – P2,500 to P5,000 fine plus possible revocation of license to operate for businesses