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PNP enforces smoking ban in public areas amid pandemic 

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Police commanders nationwide were ordered to strictly implement the smoking ban on terminals of public utility vehicles (PUVs) and other public places, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

“In this time of pandemic when the coronavirus targets the respiratory system, smoking is really dangerous not only to the smokers but also to non-smokers,” said Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander, in a statement.

He said his call for the strict imposition of a smoking ban is in line with guidelines of the National Task Force on Covid-19 to contain the spread of the deadly virus.

“Smoking in public places particularly bus, jeepney, and tricycle terminals compromises the health safety of both the drivers and the passengers,” Eleazar said.

Eleazar made his call after health experts said smokers and those who would inhale the secondhand smoke coming from cigarettes are susceptible to Covid-19 infection as their immune system is already compromised.

The JTF COVID Shield has been receiving complaints that there are some drivers and passengers who are smoking in PUV terminals, especially in the provinces.

Eleazar said police commanders were also tasked to account and regularly monitor the existence of smoking areas in their respective Areas of Responsibility (AORs).

He said police commanders should coordinate with the Local Government Units (LGUs) for the utilization of barangay tanods and the city and municipal Public Order and Safety personnel for the enforcement of the nationwide smoking ban.

Earlier, the Manila International Airport Authority has temporarily closed all the smoking areas in all terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport due to the threat of coronavirus infection among smokers.

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