MANILA, Philippines — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has certainly become infamous this past year. Duterte’s war on drugs has lead to the deaths of over 7,000 people. These people include drug dealers, addicts, and people mistakenly affiliated with drugs. This war on drugs has lead to a severed relationship with the European Unions and has stricken fear into the lives of Filipino natives.
On Thursday, Duterte furthered his actions as President by banning public smoking for adults, as well as distributing and purchasing tobacco products to minors in the Philippines. This ban also includes the restriction of using e-cigarettes and vaping in public. Lastly, this law makes it illegal to have tobacco advertisements near any school. The specific restrictions include, “placing, posting, displaying or distributing advertisement and promotional materials of tobacco products, such as but not limited to leaflets, posters, display structures and other materials within 100 meters from the perimeter of a school, public playground, and other facilities frequented particularly by minors, hostel and recreational facilities for minors, including those frequented by them, or in an establishment when such establishment or its location is prohibited from selling tobacco products.” Breaking any part of this tobacco ban law will result in four months in prison and a $100 fine.
Duterte’s inspiration for imputing this law was due to the health scare he faced because of his heavy smoking. After his health scare, Duterte quit smoking for good. Smoking is very prominent in the Philippines. According to Fox News, “Nearly half of all Filipino men and 9 percent of women smoke. Experts estimate the habit costs the economy nearly $4 billion in annual health care and productivity losses.” Although this law seems to be in the best interest of the health of the people of the Philippines, the power and extremism of Duterte is hard to overlook.