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PIA Press Release

DOH 2 defends AO requiring graphic health information on tobacco packs

by Thelma C. Bicarme

Tuguegarao City (June 11) -- The Department of Health, Center for Health and Development (DOH-CHD 2) said that the issuance of the Administrative Order No. 13 which ordered all tobacco companies to start printing in 90 days, explicit warnings on cigarette packs illustrating the ill effects of smoking would intensify the government's campaign against the ill-effects of cigarette smoking.

Floro Orata, DOH 2 Health Education and Promotions Officer said that the order did not defy RA 9211 because it was issued in line with the country's commitment to an international treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) of which the Philippines is a signatory.

Orata added that the warnings on cigarette packs aimed to give options to the smokers whether they will abstain from smoking or they will die due to the diseases caused by smoking.

"The government has been losing billions in smoking-related diseases, higher than the taxes from the tobacco companies," Orata said.

The health educator has reminded the parents to guide their children especially the adolescents saying that peer pressure is a big factor why the number of young smokers in the region has been increasing.

"Let us prevent our children from smoking because aside from its harmful effects to health, it will also lead to other social problems such as prostitution," Orata warned.

"It is alarming to note that young girls who have been addicted to smoking resort to prostitution and some even become freelancers just to support their vices", Orata lamented.

Orata has expressed optimism that through the intensified anti- smoking campaign of the Department of Education, the smoking problems in the schools will be totally solved.

Orata likewise advised the smoking parents especially the fathers to spare their children from the second hand smoke saying that the smoke that burns off the end of a cigarette or cigar actually contains more harmful substances than the smadded.oke inhaled by the smoker.

"Let us not burn our hard-earned money, instead we should use it for the welfare of our family", Orata said. (PIA 2) [top]

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