UAAP athletes to the youth: “It’s not cool to smoke!”
Arvin Maceda, a 21 year old student of the University of the Philippines-Manila, observed that tobacco companies are intensifying their campaign to entice the youth to start smoking. That is why, on September 24, 2014, Arvin started an online petition at Change.org (change.org/timesuptobacco). The petition is a direct shout-out to UAAP athletes urging them to take the lead in a youth awareness campaign that aims to lead the Filipino youth.
Tobacco companies have long been targeting the youth. Studies show that 90% of adult smokers started smoking as teens or younger. According to the Global Youth Tobacco Survey, a school-based survey for Filipinos aged 13-15, 13.7% of students are already smoking any form of tobacco and 8.9% currently smoke cigarettes. Tired of all the tobacco companies’ “sneaky advertisements and marketing tactics aimed at the youth,” Arvin urged athletes to join a public movement seeking to make tobacco companies accountable for the harmful effects of their products on both smokers and non-smokers.
Over 7,300 people signed the online petition, and UAAP stars from the different schools responded. Arnold Van Opstal, Von Pessumal, Nico Elorde, Mikee Reyes, EJ Laure, Ryan Monteclaro, and many others are now at the forefront of cautioning teenagers by deceptive tobacco company marketing practices. The “Time’s Up, Tobacco!” video, which is the first nationwide anti-smoking ad made by the youth for the youth, was unveiled for the first time last January 14, 2015, A Space Manila.
The petition is part of ‘Time’s Up, Tobacco!’ – a public movement initiated by HealthJustice Philippines – that seeks to make tobacco companies accountable for the harmful effects of their products on both smokers and non-smokers.
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