QC gov’t regulates use of e-cigarettes in public places
Marje Pelayo • March 20, 2019 • 1818
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Quezon City government has approved a city ordinance regulating the use of electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes in public places, including advertisements and promotions regarding it.
On Tuesday (March 20) the QC government issued a press release that says Mayor Herbert Bautista has approved City Ordinance 2737-2018 which aims to protect the health and welfare of the residents of Quezon City.
It also includes provisions that will safeguard the interests of all stakeholders “including smokers who have the right to choose less harmful alternatives to cigarettes.”
The ordinance covers places of worship, hospitals or other healthcare centers, public conveyances, government offices, and educational or recreational facilities primarily intended for minors.
E-cigarettes will only be allowed in all enclosed places, whether public or private use, provided that the owner, operator or administrator of the establishment shall post: “USE OF E-CIGARETTES IS ALLOWED INSIDE” in each entrance of the building.
Private workplaces may designate a vaping area in open spaces with proper ventilation but shall not be the same room as the designated smoking area.
It is unlawful under the ordinance to purchase e-cigarettes from a minor, for minors to sell e-cigarettes, and for minors to purchase e-cigarettes.
Only direct marketing and online ads are allowed for e-cigarettes but must not appeal to audience 18 years and below.
The ads must specifically depict the use of e-cigarettes only to persons above 25 years of age.
It must not show or portray the actual use of e-cigarettes that will undermine quit-smoking messages and encourage non-tobacco or non-nicotine users to use the product.
All allowable advertisements and promotional materials for nicotine receptacles shall contain the health warning: “This product may damage your health and is addictive” occupying 10% of the bottom area of the advertisement.
Penalties for violations of the ordinance include:
First offense: Not less than P500 but not more than P1,000;
Second offense: More than P1,000 but not more than P2,500;
Third offense: Not less than P2,500 but not more than P5,000 and cancellation/revocation of the business permit or license to operate of the offender. — Marje Pelayo
MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City government urged public and private hospitals and laboratories to directly submit to city hall a copy of the list of people who were tested for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in a bid to hasten the city’s contact tracing efforts amid the pandemic.
In a statement, Quezon City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) head Dr. Rolly Cruz said the copy of the list, called the line list, will be used as basis in monitoring close contacts of probable and suspected cases.
Cruz said that it has been a challenge for CESU to conduct contact tracing because there is a three to four-day delay in the data forwarded to the city by the Department of Health (DOH).
“We have to be proactive and get the line list from other sources aside from the national government,” said Cruz.
According to Joseph Juico, lead coordinator of the city’s COVID response program, the delay in contact tracing due to the lack of data can cause damaging ‘ripple effects.’
“If data is incomplete and delayed, instead of nipping infections in the bud, we end up locking down whole communities for 14 days, because the virus has already spread,” he said.
“If we have patients’ complete contact details immediately, we can prevent them from infecting others and arrest community transmission,” he added.
As of August 14, the Philippines has a total of 153,660 COVID-19 cases with 71,405 recoveries and 2,442 deaths.
Of the total cases, 8,240 cases were recorded in Quezon City based on the information provided by the local government.
The Quezon City Government has released the guidelines it has drafted to expedite contact tracing of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in large companies.
QC Mayor Joy Belmonte said this is to further contain the virus and minimize the employee risk of infection and economic effects of COVID-19.
Based on the guidelines, an individual is considered a close contact if he or she had face-to-face contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case within one-meter distance, for more than 15 minutes and within a 14 day period from the confirmed case’s onset of symptoms.
Those in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case should undergo a 14-day quarantine and should undertake the swab testing if he or she is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
“In either case, close contacts should not be allowed to report for work immediately upon identification as such, and should be required to self-isolate at home,” Belmonte said.
Companies are also mandated to require their employees to list down all usual close contacts, both inside and outside work, even prior to any confirmed or suspect COVID-19 case.
“Companies are also mandated to provide the City Epidemiological Surveillance Unit (CESU), through email@example.com, with updates regarding confirmed cases and close contacts among the workforce,” the guidelines also stated. AAC
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