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Graphic warnings bill reaches Senate

| March 4, 2014

The Philippines Senate yesterday started deliberations on a bill that, if passed, would require graphic health warnings to be included on tobacco packs, according to a story on GMA News Online.

In his sponsorship speech, Senate President Franklin Drilon said the graphic health warning bill was of “vital importance” because of the rising number of Filipino cigarette smokers.

“The bill is necessary in order to strengthen the government’s efforts to discourage smoking among our citizenry,” he said. “Smokers have to be informed and made fully aware of what will happen to their health every time they pick up a cigarette pack.”

The Philippines is a signatory to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which obliges countries that have ratified the treaty to pass laws requiring graphic health warnings on cigarette packs.

But so far, the Philippines has not passed any laws on graphic warnings, and the House version of the bill now before the Senate is still only at the committee level.

The GMA story said that the Department of Health had issued in 2010 an order requiring graphic health warnings on cigarette packs, but that tobacco companies had challenged the move in court and obtained a temporary restraining order.

Category: Breaking News

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