DOH to pursue graphic health warning on tobacco packaging

June 23, 2010 10:21 pm 

ILOILO CITY, June 23 – The Department of Health (DOH) will pursue its plan on graphic health information and ensures that an effective, distinct and highly visible graphic health information is placed on all tobacco product packages.

DOH Regional Director Ariel Valencia said Administrative Order (AO) No.0013 S2010 dated May 12, 2010 was approved by Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral that requires graphic health information on tobacco packages.

The health official stressed the tobacco packaging and labeling do not promote a tobacco product by any means that are false, misleading, deceptive or likely to create an erroneous impression about the product and its characteristics, health effects, hazards or emissions.

The AO only underscores the primacy of health and affirms its primary function to promote, protect, preserve and restore the health of all the Filipino people.

It is the policy of the State to promote the right to health of all Filipinos and instill health consciousness among them, Valencia said.

DOH reported that there are about five million deaths a year worldwide directly related to tobacco or 240 Filipinos die every day or over 87,000 a year from what is clearly a preventable disease.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated this to double by year 2020 if present trends continue unchecked.

Valencia said tobacco products contain toxic compounds and over forty carcinogens, which include carbon monoxide, arsenic, benzene, butane, formaldehyde, lead, toluene and nicotine, among others.

Nicotine is a by-product substance of tobacco that eventually leads the smoker to addiction.

LDV/AJP/LCP

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