Lock them up – healthily

| March 5, 2018

Health advocates have reminded the Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) that it should ensure that new graphic health warnings were appearing on all tobacco packaging, according to a story The Manila Bulletin.

The Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (Seatca) said that Republic Act 10643, or the Graphic Health Warning Law, required all tobacco companies to replace the warning templates that were brought in on March 3, 2016 for two years.

“There should be no excuse for tobacco companies not to comply with this,” said Dr. Ulysses Dorotheo, Seatca’s program director. “We call on the DOH to ensure that all tobacco products carry the new set of warnings and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to ensure that excise tax stamps are affixed only to tobacco products with the new warnings. Violators must be fined or prosecuted.”

Dorotheo claimed that “refreshing” health warnings and messages increased their effectiveness.

“It is important that health warnings and images are changed after a certain period to enhance and maintain the maximum impact over time,” he said.

Meanwhile, HealthJustice president Mary Ann Fernandez-Mendoza said the country was a party to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and so “ought to implement rotating graphic health warnings on all tobacco packaging and labeling”.

Retailers who are found selling non-compliant products are said to be liable to a fine of P10,000 to P100,000 and a one-year term of imprisonment.

Manufactures, importers, and distributors, who fail to display the graphic health warnings on their products will be liable to a fine of P500,000 to P2,000,000, and a five-year term of imprisonment.

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Category: Breaking News, Packaging

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