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Philippines: Campaign for smoke-free beaches, parks launched

31 May 2022

By: Gaea Katreena Cabico Source: Philstar

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health launched Tuesday an eight-month campaign advocating for smoke-free beaches, parks and tourist destinations.

The agency stressed that tobacco products pose threat to people’s lives and the environment.

“To further strengthen our campaign against the use of tobacco, we have included this initiative to protect our beaches, parks, and tourist destinations from the environmental ill-effects of this product,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a release.

The campaigns aims to showcase Boracay, Palawan, Caramoan and other premier beach destinations as pilot areas for smoke-free beaches.

Around 4.5 trillion cigarettes become waste and 4.2 million cigarette butts end up on beaches and waterways, the DOH said, adding that the plastic and chemical contents in cigarette filters affect marine life and water quality.

The launch of the drive coincided with the celebration of World No Tobacco Day.

The department also reiterated its call for President Rodrigo Duterte to veto a proposed measure seeking to lower the age of access to vape products. It earlier said that the proposed measure is contrary to Duterte’s position to protect Filipinos from the harmful effects of smoking.