Central Visayas top cop warns vapers: Smoke in public and end up in police station

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Central Visayas police chief Brigadier General Valeriano De Leon vowed to follow the President’s directive to arrest vape smokers on Wednesday, November 20.

“There is the Executive Order 26 and this will be used to run after these vapers. They should not do it in public, otherwise, they will end up in police stations,” the police regional director said.

De Leon said his policy would be based on Executive Order 26, which bans smoking in public places.

“I am ordering my men to arrest those who will smoke e-cigarettes and confiscate vapes in public places in Central Visayas region," de Leon said. 

"As what President Duterte said, this is an issue of public health and your police have this obligation to protect the people from the negative effects of the smoke coming from vapers,” he added.

This announcement was made after the Philippine National Police ordered cops to arrest those vaping, even without an executive order from the President. The policy is also not clear if police should arrest vapers even if they are smoking in designated areas. (READ: PNP to arrest vape users even without Duterte executive order)

The first vaping related injury recorded was a 16-year-old girl here in Consolacion, Cebu. The girl sustained lung injuries from smoking but has already been released from the hospital.

The Central Visayas chief is also asking police officers to account for all vape stores in the region and to ask their help in warning their customers not to smoke in public. – Rappler.com

Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers Cebu and the Visayas for Rappler. He covers all news in the region, but is particularly interested in people stories, development issues and local policy making.