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PIA Press Release
2010/02/18

DTI 12 reactivates implementation of tobacco regulation act

by Rotchelle M. Padua

Koronadal City (18 February) -- Government agencies here are reactivating the implementation of the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 or Republic Act 9211.

Representatives from Department of Health, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Philippine National Police, local government units and private sectors attended the Inter-Agency Committee Meeting on Tobacco Regulation yesterday, February 17, at the Conference Hall of Department of Trade and Industry Regional Office.

"Our goal is to understand the law, implement the law and do the advocacy," said Ibrahim Guiamadel, Regional Director of Department of Trade and Industry 12 and Chairman of the Inter-Agency Committee on Tobacco Regulation in his opening message.

Mr. Eshan Karl O. Mabang, Region 12 Project Coordinator of Bloomberg for DOH Region 12 discussed RA 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003. This act aims to promote a healthful environment; Inform the public of the health risks associated with cigarette smoking and tobacco use; Regulate and subsequently ban all tobacco advertisements and sponsorships; Regulate the labeling of tobacco products; Protect the youth from being initiated to cigarette smoking and tobacco use by prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to minors; Assists and encourage Filipino tobacco farmers to cultivate alternative agricultural crops to prevent economic\dislocation; and Create an Inter-Agency Committee on Tobacco (IAC-Tobacco) to oversee the implementation of the provision of this Act.

Atty. Venus Ondoy, Director II of the Civil Service Field Office in South Cotabato, lectured on Memorandum Circular 17, directing all government agencies and government-owned and/or controlled corporations to undertake a Smoking Prohibition based on 100% Smoke-Free Environment policies. This MC provides guidelines on Smoking Prohibition, Smoking Area and " Smoking Area" and " No Smoking" signs.

Atty. Ondoy emphasized that the "Smoking Area" sign should be no more than 8x 16 inches in size but the " No Smoking" sign should be at least 8x16 inches and the International No Smoking Symbols should occupy no less than 70% of said signage.

She also encouraged government agencies which have not yet implemented MC # 17 to immediately comply with the provisions of the said MC.

Dr. Viginia Sulit, a private medical, practitioner discussed the ill-effects of smoking, which formed the biggest part of the meeting. Dr. Sulit emphasized that a single cigarette stick contains 4,000 harmful chemicals-more than 250 of these are carcinogenic or cancer-causing. Among the fatal diseases brought about by smoking are lung cancer, mouth cancer, tongue throat cancer, stomach cancer, neck cancer, cancer of the pancreas and kidneys. Studies have found a connection between heavy smoking and breast cancer. Smoking also causes tooth decay, bad breath and accelerates the aging process making the smoker look older than his age.

"Second-hand smoke is even more dangerous than first-hand smoke," said Dr. Sulit. Second-hand smoke refers to the smoke in hailed by anybody who happens to be near the smoker. This becomes more dangerous because when the smoker inhales the smoke, it becomes metabolized, making the exhaled smoke more poisonous.

A fatal effect of the Second-hand smoke is the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) which occurs when a baby inhales smoke and suddenly dies.

The meeting was sealed by Estrella Ilagan, a nurse from the Department of Health 12, who challenged everyone to actively take part in the campaign against smoking.

"Our job is to help people stop smoking," said Ilagan. (PIA 12) [top]

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