21 November 2016:
Smoking in public places in San Juan City will be implemented strictly.
The move is in consonance with the existing ordinance that prohibits smoking in public places and inside public utility vehicles.
San Juan City Mayor Guia Gomez said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will monitor to ensure that manufacturers and retailers are complying with the law which was implemented on November 4.
“We have two officials of DTI here in San Juan City and they will be the ones to personally check on those selling cigarettes,” she said, stressing that cigarette packs should show printed physical manifestations of diseases and disorders.
The local chief executive also mulled the idea of creating a task force that will monitor the sari-sari (variety) stores and street vendors to make sure that they also meet the requisites of the law.
“We have a Comprehensive Anti-Smoking ordinance that seeks to make unlawful for any person to smoke in a public utility vehicle, government-owned vehicle or any other means of public transport for passengers, accommodation and entertainment establishment, public building, public place, enclosed public place or in any enclosed area outside of one’s private residence, private place of work, cars owned by the government or duly designated smoking areas, within the jurisdiction of San Juan City,” Gomez said.
The law prescribes printing of Graphic Health Warnings on 50 percent of the principal display surfaces of any tobacco products and shall occupy 50 percent of the front and 50 percent of the back panel of the tobacco package, and shall be printed in four colors.
Health Secretary Jean Paulyn-Ubial cited Administrative Order 2014-0037 as a clear basis of the date of implementation as it requires “graphic health warnings on cigarette packages and other tobacco product packages one year after the issuance of the templates by the Department of Health.”
The Graphic Health Warnings has been proven effective in warning people on the devastating effects of tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke. It also aims to remove misleading or deceptive descriptors like “low tar,” “light,” “ultra lights” or “mild”which convey that a tobacco product is healthier, less harmful or safer.
Proceeds of administrative fines shall be used for health promotion campaigns on tobacco control of the Department of Health and the Department of Education.
According to the World Health Organization, pictorial warnings are more likely to be noticed than text-only warning labels; more effective for educating smokers about the health risks of smoking and for increasing smokers’ thoughts about the health risks, and associated with increased motivation to quit smoking.
The 2015 Philippine Global Adult Tobacco Survey, meanwhile, reported that 1 out of 4 or 16.5 million adults currently smoke tobacco: 42 percent of men and 6 percent of women. This was 19 percent lower than the 29 percent smoking prevalence in 2009 as reported by Philippine GATS survey.