Group calls for nationwide ban on point-of-sale tobacco ads

AN ANTI-TOBACCO group pushed Monday for the replication of the ban on point-of-sale (POS) tobacco advertisements being implemented in Davao City since the time of then mayor, President Rodrigo Duterte.

Emer Rojas, president of New Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP), said that there is no reason not to revive the POS tobacco ads ban since it is continuously being implemented in Davao City.

"POS advertisements are being allowed in majority of the country, but not in Davao City and in some other areas. We hope that the national government can take cue from President Duterte's home town in pushing for the restriction of outdoor advertising for cigarette products," said Rojas in a statement.

Having such a ban on POS tobacco ads, the anti-smoking advocate said the campaign versus smoking set to be launched by the Duterte administration could be greatly enhanced.

This, he said, was stressed by no less than the World Health Organization (WHO) in its Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), wherein the Philippines is one of the signatories.

"A comprehensive ban of all tobacco advertising, and promotion, POS included, is being deemed as one of the more important measures that need to be imposed if the government expects to see a reduced consumption of tobacco products," said Rojas.

Back in July 1, 2007, the country began imposing the restriction on POS advertisements for cigarette products, including signages on top of sari-sari stores and other retail outlets.

The policy was anchored on the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003, which outlaws outdoor tobacco advertisements.

However, the interpretation of the said provision of Republic Act 9211 was put into question by a majority of the members of the Inter-Agency Committee- Tobacco (IAC-Tobacco).

And in February 2008, the Marikina Regional Trial Court sided with the IAC-Tobacco majority in saying cigarette companies can place advertising materials within the premises of point-of-sale establishments. (HDT/Sunnex)
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