Philippines: Quezon town temporarily bans cigarettes amid COVID-19 threat

29 March 2020
Delfin T.Mallari Jr.

LUCENA CITY, Quezon – The mayor of General Luna town in Quezon has ordered a temporary ban on the sale and purchase of cigarettes starting Monday (March 30) as part of efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the province.

In issuing Executive Order No. 29, Mayor Matt Erwin Florido said he disallowed the sale and purchase of cigarettes in the town for the duration of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine earlier ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“There are lots of townsfolk that still give priority in buying cigarette instead of basic necessities like food,” Florido said in his order in Filipino, a copy of it was posted on his Facebook on Sunday.

Florido lectured that non-smoking helps maintain good health and prevent heart and respiratory illnesses like lung cancer, pulmonary tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and emphysema.

Florido warned store violators that their licenses face revocation and smokers will be made to pay fines the amount of which will have to be determined by the local government.

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