Philippines to Introduce Graphic Health Warnings on Packs

Smoking

In Philippines, House of Representatives proposed a law which will obligate tobacco products to have a picture-based warnings on its packages. The measure is expected to discourage people from smoking.

The new law is called An Act Mandating Picture-Based Warnings On All Packages of Tobacco Products. It was proposed on January 28 by Iloilo City Rep. Jerry P. Trenas. He says it is necessary to increase public awareness on the negative effects of cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke.

The government must do its best to inform people about possible negative effects of using tobacco products. The new bill has nothing to do with an attack on the entire tobacco industry. It is just an attepmt to show people the health consequences of smoking.

The new bill imposes every tobacco product pack to have a graphic warning describing the negative effects of tobacco use in accordance with guidelines written by the Department of Health.

the graphic warning should occupy 50% of the main display area in front and back of the pack. Its size must be large, clear, visible and it should also contain text warning.

There were proposed several variations for the graphic warning to be printed “simultaneously and rotated periodically for each brand family and each brand variation within a brand family for each package size and type.”

The printing costs will be covered by tobacco companies.

Tobacco companies that will not follow the new rules, will be fined P1 million for the first violation, P5 million for the second violation and P20 million for the third violation.

According to Mr. Trenas, the introduction of this law in Phillippines is in accordance with the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which says that people must be informed about health effects of smoking.

Graphic health warnings are proved to be most effective measure to reduce tobacco consumption among population.

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