Press Release
March 4, 2016

Drilon's twin anti-smoking laws to reduce
smoking-related diseases

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon is optimistic that with his twin anti-smoking laws - the Graphic Health Warning Act and the Sin Tax Reform Law - already in place, the smoking incidence in the country, particularly among the youth, will finally decline.

Drilon issued the statement following the start of the implementation of the Graphic Health Warning Law, which mandates graphic health warnings in cigarette packages showing the health risks of smoking. He is the author of the two aforementioned anti-smoking laws.

"I am glad that the Graphic Health Warning Act will now join the Sin Tax Reform Law as fully implemented health laws which I am confident will be significant in dissuading Filipinos from smoking, especially our youth and our more impoverished constituents," he said.

Drilon said that the Graphic Health Warning Act must be strictly observed to save many Filipinos from the deadly dangers posed by tobacco use.

The four-time Senate President and Liberal Party re-electionist senatorial candidate commended the Department of Health and other government agencies involved with the implementation of RA 106943, which he said is crucial in addressing the unabated rise of cigarette smokers within the country.

Under the act, tobacco companies are required to print 12 graphic health warning templates on all cigarette packages, which depict the dangers of tobacco smoking or passive smoking, along with text-based information. The law also effectively bans the manufacture and importation of tobacco products without the graphic warnings.

He explained that studies have shown that graphic-based warnings on tobacco use are more effective than text-based warnings in educating the public about tobacco-induced health complications.

"So when we look at other countries where this system has been set in place, they were able to reduce the incidence of smoking in their respective jurisdictions. Hopefully, this will also be the case in implementing our own graphic warning on cigarette packages," he said.

Drilon then urged the DOH and other agencies involved to see to it that the implementation of the RA 10643 "will be done so in the strictest form possible," and to be aggressive in deterring and preventing violations of the act within the tobacco industry.

"It's about time that we take charge and ensure compliance among the stakeholders, for the benefit of Filipinos who need to be properly informed of what smoking truly entails for their health," he stressed.

He pointed out that according to estimates made by the Department of Health (DOH), 87,000 Filipinos succumb annually from complications caused by cigarette smoking, which costs the country an estimated P188 billion in annual health care expenses and productivity losses.

"Ten Filipinos die every hour from cigarette smoking-related illnesses. It is about time that we put an end to this, and with graphic health warnings and the Sin Tax Reform Act, we have a fighting chance at ending the plague of smoking cigarettes," Drilon said.

News Latest News Feed