Noy told: Uphold order to put warnings on cigarette packs

After failing to convince him to be a “poster boy” for the government’s anti-smoking campaign, a tobacco control group is now asking presidential frontrunner Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to uphold an order to show graphic warnings of smoking-related diseases.

The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance Philippines (FCAP) is referring to the Department of Health’s Administrative Order (AO) No. 2010-0013, which requires cigarette firms to show a picture of a disease attributed to smoking on each pack.

“The main deal is to give health information to the public and bare the real score behind the ‘glamour and social status symbol’ that the tobacco companies intend to project in the various forms of tobacco packaging proliferating in the market,” said Dr. Maricar Limpin, FCAP executive director.

“Rejecting the AO is like denying the people of their fundamental human right to health and access to information, including the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas concerning health,” she added.

The Philippine Tobacco Institute (PTI) recently decried the issuance of AO 2010-0013. Limpin noted that the PTI is currently targeting the youth since they are not fully aware of the detrimental effects of smoking to their health.

“The tobacco industry does not want to clearly stipulate the fatal impact of tobacco on the consumers, lest they lose the profits they currently enjoy,” Limpin said.

Meanwhile, Limpin made it clear that smoking will not add stress to Aquino’s life, reacting to the presidential frontrunner’s earlier statement that kicking his nicotine habit may affect his decision-making skills.

FCAP has already offered to help Aquino give up smoking through therapy, something that the presidential frontrunner has also turned down.

“Aquino should not shut his door from getting professional help to quit smoking if he really wants to because smoking cessation therapy programs are already available in government and private hospitals,” she said.


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