Places where you CAN vape in the Philippines
More than 5 million Filipinos vape and the number is skyrocketing as the Philippines becomes more economically developed. Vaping has become the new trend replacing tobacco smoking. It is well known that vaping is a much healthier option than smoking.
Over 70% of Filipinos look favorably on vaping vs smoking. That’s why it may come as a shock to some visitors to find there are strict restrictions on vaping in the Philippines.
Here’s what you need to know about where you can vape in the Philippines.
- Is Vaping Legal in the Philippines?
- Where Can You Vape in the Philippines?
- Behind the Nationwide Smoking Ban Under President Rodrigo Duterte
Is Vaping Legal in the Philippines?
Yes, vaping is legal. Avoid any and all confusion by following the 2017 Nationwide Smoking Ban, otherwise known as Executive Order 26 (EO26). We will go into more detail below on where you can vape legally.
Where You Can Vape in the Philippines
Whether you are a local who is trying to quit smoking by vaping or a vape user who is visiting the country, it is important to know where you can vape in the Philippines without getting into trouble.
Since the smoking ban now covers vaping as well, people are only allowed to vape in the select places where smoking is allowed. This mostly just includes private residences. However you can also vape in public places that have designated smoking and vaping areas. These designated areas are usually found in bars, night clubs, restaurants, and some workplaces.
Places to Avoid Vaping In
Following the ban, smoking and vaping are no longer allowed in most public areas. These places cover educational institutions, government facilities, and healthcare facilities like hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes. Hotels, resorts, shopping facilities, sports venues, and a variety of other establishments that provide professional services to the public are included in the ban as well.
Vaping is also prohibited in public land transportation and transportation terminals in the country, in addition to already being banned from aircrafts. The only exception is transportation for travel by water if the watercraft has a designated smoking and vaping area for passengers.
The ban on smoking and vaping also applies to any venue or facility that is frequented by minors.
Behind the Nationwide Vaping Ban Under President Rodrigo Duterte
The Philippines has one of the strictest smoking laws in Southeast Asia.
On May 16, 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte issued Executive Order No. 26, which is the nationwide ban on smoking. This order included provisions that did not just involve places in which smoking was prohibited, but also the distribution and advertising of tobacco products.
Then, in November of 2019, President Duterte announced that the ban would now cover vaping and e-cigarette products as well. With the growing number of vapers in the country, the order was initially ignored.
However, President Duterte continued to emphasize the implementation of the vaping ban in speeches that followed. When he spoke before the Department of National Defense after the initial announcement of the ban, he reiterated the dangers of vaping, saying it was toxic and should now only be permitted within private properties.
President Duterte also mentioned his concerns about minors in the country who are starting to vape. He expressed that young vapers especially are buying and using vaping and e-cigarette products without fully understanding the risks that come with it.
Enforcing the Ban Through the Police and the Military
Aside from the constant emphasis on the dangers of nicotine, President Duterte has also emphasized the role of the police and military in this ban. He even threatened to use police and military personnel to enforce it. In addition to a fine of 5,000 pesos, the maximum penalty for vaping in public areas includes four months in jail.
Furthermore, he has also called for the creation of anti-smoking task forces in cities and towns. These task forces are to be led by the police.
The tough laws surrounding vaping, along with the penalties and chosen methods of enforcement, will not come as a surprise to those familiar with President Duterte. His presidential campaign largely focused on punishing criminals and eliminating vices. While this mostly had to do with his war on drugs, he has also expressed his desire to get rid of other vices, such as smoking, gambling, and now vaping.
Vaping is legal in the Philippines. When it comes to smoking and vaping, it is important to stick to the local laws. These laws are for the benefit of our public health, and if you follow the laws, you will not run into trouble while you are vaping.
Vape only where there are signs allowing public smoking. To be safe - ask first if or where you can legally vape. Someone around will direct you to the nearest smoking and vaping area.