‘Per-stick cigarette buyers need to see warnings too’
MANILA, Philippines–What about smokers who buy their cigarettes by the stick?
An antismoking group has urged local government units to pass ordinances in their respective areas requiring cigarette points of sale, including sari-sari stores, to put up graphic warning posters in an effort to deter smokers from buying that next stick.
New Vois Association of the Philippines president Emer Rojas on Sunday said such local measures would complement the Graphic Health Warnings Law and address the tingi (per stick) way of buying cigarettes.
Republic Act No. 10643, signed by President Aquino in July, mandates that graphic warnings showing the harmful effects of smoking be displayed on the bottom half of cigarette packs.
But this would not allow smokers who buy by the stick to see the warnings printed on the packs, Rojas pointed out.
“Having these all-important picture warnings on the dangers of cigarette smoking at points of sale is crucial since many Filipino smokers buy by the stick and not by the pack,” Rojas said in a statement.
The group said that roughly 80 percent of Filipino smokers bought their cigarettes by the stick. The price of a pack of cigarettes is prohibitive for most Filipinos.
“Chances of graphic warnings being missed by those only buying by the piece are there. This is why we are hoping our local government officials can help complement the law by having local ordinances,” he said.
The anti-smoking advocate stressed the role of local governments in deterring smoking, noting that smoke-free ordinances had been passed in places such as Davao, Maasin in Leyte, Balanga in Bataan and Amlan in Negros Occidental.
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