Bill requiring graphic warning on cigarette packs passes committee level
MANILA, Philippines — The proposed measure seeking to put graphic health warnings on cigarette packs hurdled the committee level in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
The 11 bills for such a measure were consolidated before the committee approved the version.
The bills require cigarette manufacturers and importers to print graphic pictures and textual warnings on the hazards of smoking in the cigarette package.
The bills hurdled the committee after a deal was settled to put the space for graphic warnings at 40 percent of the display area.
One of the bill’s authors, Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez, lauded the committee passage of the bill.
“We welcome the passage of this landmark bill, which we hope will lead to greater awareness on the hazards of tobacco use, which, in turn, will contribute to reducing the incidence of cigarette smoking in the country, especially among the Filipino youth,” Gutierrez said in a statement.
Akbayan’s bill wants graphic pictures to take up 85 percent of the cigarette package.
But tobacco manufacturers denounced the provision, saying it wants graphic warnings to take up only 30 percent.
Eventually, panel members and tobacco manufacturers agreed that pictures should take up 40 percent of the space.
“While the approved version did not incorporate all the features we originally pushed for, this is still a firm step in the right direction and we are happy that the House Committee on Health was able to reach a consensus on this very important issue,” Gutierrez said.
The bill is expected to be passed on third and final reading next week or before the House takes its break on June, Gutierrez said.
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