Graphic tobacco health warning law enforced today

 (The Philippine Star) |

MANILA, Philippines – Tobacco companies should comply with the law requiring graphic health warnings on cigarette packs, which will be enforced starting today, a group of cancer survivors said yesterday.

In a statement, New Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP) president Emer Rojas said they expect tobacco manufacturers to abide by Republic Act 10643.

“Starting today, all cigarette packs coming out of the cigarette factories should bear pictorial health warnings to show the harmful effects of smoking. This means that it is now illegal for tobacco companies to release products that do not have graphic health warnings,” Rojas said.

“Time is finally up for tobacco companies. They are left with no other option but to follow the law on graphic health warnings,” he added.

Rojas said the law gives the tobacco industry one year from the date of publication of the templates to comply with the placement of picture warnings in cigarette packs. He said the Department of Health released 12 templates on Nov. 4, 2014.

Included in the templates are images of people suffering from stroke, emphysema, mouth cancer, gangrene, impotence, throat cancer, neck cancer and premature birth and low birth-weight of babies of smoking mothers.

The picture warnings shall cover the lower 50 percent of the front and back panels of the packages, while the additional warnings shall occupy 30 percent of the surface of one side panel only.

The law was passed to discourage the public from smoking.

“This aims to inform the public of the harm brought about by smoking…Pictures save lives by reducing risks of non-communicable diseases like cancer and lung diseases due to smoking,” Rojas said.