AN OFFICIAL of the Department of Health (DOH)-Northern Mindanao said they have began confiscating Friday, November 4, all cigarette products without graphic warnings about the ill effects of smoking.
Nur-Aian Caridad, DOH-Northern Mindanao health education and promotion officer, said sellers of tobacco products should return to manufacturers cigarettes without the requisite health warnings.
The Graphic Health Warning Law otherwise known as the Republic Act 10643, was enacted last July 15, 2014 while its implementing rules and regulations was signed on February 9, this year.
Under the law, retailers and sellers of tobacco products are required to ensure the removal from all displays non-compliant tobacco products manufactured, imported, distributed, or sold by them beginning Friday, November 4.
The said law aims to discourage smoking through the graphic warnings which show the ill effects of tobacco use and exposure to second hand smoke.
The law also directs manufacturers to remove misleading descriptions such as “low tar,” “light,” “ultra lights,” or “mild” from tobacco products as these tend to convey that the products are less harmful than they actually are.
Caridad said support of the local government is key in the success of their campaign, dubbed “Bawal na ang Text Lang, Graphic Health Warnings! Full Blast Na!”
She said a task force should be created by the City Government to help and assist the DOH confiscate cigarette products that do not meet the requisites of the law.
“Unfortunately, walay task force ang syudad nga respbonsible unta sa confiscation or kining separate body nga mag-enforce gyud sa law (Unfortunately, there was no task force in the city responsible for the confiscation [of cigarettes without graphic warnings about the ill effects of smoking] or even a separate body to enforce the law),” she said.
Caridad also urged the city to strengthen and implement its anti-smoking ordinance.