2019 World No Tobacco Day
31 May 2019
ANTI-TOBACCO GROUPS RAISE AWARENESS ON LUNG HEALTH, URGE LEGISLATORS TO PASS SIN TAX MARIKINA CITY – Tobacco control advocates gather today to increase awareness on the deadly effects of tobacco use in lung health and to urge legislators to ensure the swift passage of the Sin Tax proposal in the Senate.
With the theme: “Tobacco and Lung Health,” the 2019 WNTD celebration seeks to raise awareness on the negative impact of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure, and to discourage the use of tobacco in any form – especially among the youth. This year’s campaign will also highlight the need to institutionalize policies to reduce tobacco consumption and to actively engage stakeholders across sectors to fight the tobacco epidemic.
The Philippine College of Chest Physicians (PCP) Tobacco and Air Pollution Committee Chair Dr. Glynna Ong-Cabrera reminds the public that “tobacco is still the single most important risk factor for many non-communicable diseases, particularly those affecting the lungs such as lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, tuberculosis, and other chronic respiratory diseases.” She added that “Based on the 2016 Global Burden of Disease, more than 100,000 Filipinos are dying from tobacco-caused diseases annually.” Meanwhile, infants exposed to tobacco smoke toxins through maternal smoking or maternal exposure to second-hand smoke are also at risk of reduced lung growth and function. Children exposed to second-hand smoke frequently experience the onset and exacerbation of asthma, pneumonia and bronchitis, respiratory infections, and often carry the diseases up to adulthood.
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Philippines Executive Director Dr. Maricar B. Limpin highlighted the role of healthcare providers by saying, “we must be the first to place a premium on health and that includes making the health of the Filipino people our top priority.” Aside from the health care providers, Dr. Limpin also reminded legislators to heed to the call of the Filipinos, who prefer a smoke-free country. She said, “No less than President Rodrigo Duterte himself recognizes the highly damaging effects of tobacco use not only to human health but also to the national economy. The President recently issued a tall order for the Sin Tax proposal to be immediately passed as he shares the same belief that taxation will help curb tobacco use in the country.
We appeal to our senators to help President Duterte realize his vision of having more healthy and productive Filipinos and a smoke-free Philippines.” As part of its tobacco control advocacy, the Philippine College of Chest Physicians (PCCP), in partnership with ASH Philippines, Philippine College of Physicians (PCP), Department of Health (DOH), Framework Convention on Tobacco and Alliance Philippines (FCAP), Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center, and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) launch the “CINEGINHAWA” short film contest which highlights tobacco and lung health. Entries from the contest will be used for smoking cessation campaign in the Philippines.