Thursday, August 6, 2015

Department of Health Campaigns for a Smoke-Free Philippines | Beautiful Life

The infamous anti-cigarette smoking mascot, Yosi Kadiri, is a poignant reminder to smokers.

Alarming statistics show that cigarette smoking kills 240 Filpinos each day. According to The Tobacco Atlas (Fifth Ed., 2015), more than 15.5 million adults and 505,600 children use tobacco everyday. Moreover, the Philippines is one of the only 13 countries with more than 10 million daily male smokers.

The Department of Health (DOH), together with New Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP), and World Lung Foundation (WLF) presented to the media a powerful national anti-tobacco campaign that highlight the dangers of smoking to adults and the health hazards caused to children, and non-smokers through exposure of second hand smoke, called "Cigarettes Are Eating You Alive,". The campaign is designed to encourage Filipinos to quit smoking, and support for the Philippines' existing smoke-free laws.

According to Health Secretary Janette P. Loreto-Garin, Filipinos need to be more aware of the harms caused by second-hand smoke, as well as the many respiratory and chronic diseases caused by smoking.  In addition, tobacco has been identified as the primary risk factor in the Philippines for a range of non-communicable diseases.

(l-r) Mego Lien of World Lung Foundation, Sandra Mullin of World Lung Foundation, Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy of the Departmentof Health, DOH Assistant Secretary Dr. Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial, Dr. Benjamin Lane of World Health Organization, MMDA Undersecretary Corazon Jimenez, and Engr. Emer Rojas of New Vois Association of the Philippines

"Tobacco continues to cause too much premature death and diseases among adults and children in the Philippines.  This increases the effectiveness of the Graphic Warnings on tobacco packs soon to be introduced in the country," said NVAP Founder and President, Engr. Emer Rojas, who is also a lung-cancer survivor.

The Tobacco Atlas notes that 40 percent of men and 8.2 percent of women in the Philippines smoke tobacco.  Tobacco is the cause of 19.6 percent of adult male deaths and 9.4 percent of adult female deaths, which is higher than the average in other middle income countries.  More than 71,850 Filipinos are killed by tobacco-related diseases every year.  The causes of death include chronic heart disease, lower respiratory infections, asthma, and lung cancer.  The Philippine Cancer Society estimates that around 3,000 non-smoking adult Filipinos die of lung cancer as a result of breathing second hand smoke each year.

Public service announcements (PSA's) will air on national television starting August 15, 2015.  It is a call to action saying, "Tobacco harms children and adults alike.  Quit smoking today!" including a hash tag #Smoke free PH

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