Should the PH Government Issue Graphic Warnings on Cigarette Packs?


Singapore is known for the graphic design of their cigarette packs, where smokers can see the effects of long-term smoking. Buy a cigarette pack and you’re assaulted with images of blackened gums, emaciated people in hospital beds, and people with lesions all over their faces.

After the island-country issued these visual warnings in 2004, a Health Promotion Board survey found that “28 percent of the smokers surveyed reported smoking fewer cigarettes Tobacco Warning Labels: Evidence of Effectiveness / 4 because of the warnings; 14 percent of the smokers surveyed said that they made it a point to avoid smoking in front of children; 12 percent said that they avoided smoking in front of pregnant women; and 8% said that they smoked less at home.”

Could it work in the Philippines?

This November, the Department of Health (DOH) is supposed to enforce Republic Act 10643, or the Graphic Health Warnings Law, which requires 50 percent of cigarette labels to display images of harmful effects of smoking.

However, there have been delays because the DOH is still drafting the implementing rules and regulations of the law. They are targeting to release the law by next year. According to them, cigarette producers must add graphic warnings by March 2016. Starting November next year, selling cigarette packs without the warnings will be prohibited.

However, health advocates want to speed up the process. According to a DOH survey, 240 Filipinos die of tobacco-related diseases every day.

Do you think we should add graphic warnings on cigarette packs? Share your thoughts below!

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