Anti-Tobacco Advocates Appeal to Legislators to Ratify FCTC

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Byline: CHARISSA M. LUCI

Department of Health (DoH) Undersecretary Alexander Padilla together with international anti-tobacco advocates recently appealed to the legislators to ratify Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in response to countrys growing health and economic problems.

Undersecretary Padilla explained that tobacco taxation mandated in FCTC could be a potential source of revenue for the government and at the same time, be an effective tool in stopping tobacco consumption, saying that "to increase revenues and reduce consumption."

Director Doreen McIntyre of Inter Non-Governmental Coalition Against Tobacco (INGCAT) pointed out that the epidemic killing of lives is getting worse as tobacco nationals continue to produce, and promote their products.

Stressing the impact of ratification of FCTC, McIntyre said: "We are working on a global treaty that would save lives potentially 5 million lives per year."

Based on reports, tobacco kills almost five million people each year. If current trends continue, it revealed, 10 million people a year is projected to be killed by 2020.

The World Health Organization (WHO) also reported that in every 6.5 seconds someone dies from tobacco use.

In a joint local study of Department of Health (DoH) and Philippine Cancer Society (PCS), it disclosed the over 15,000 Filipinos might die of lung cancer in 2005 if tobacco-related activities were not stopped.

Fifty-five Filipinos die of lung cancer everyday, according to DoH.

Health department also reported that P46 B is annually spent in economic and medical costs due to tobacco-related activities and illnesses.

People who start smoking at early age, according to researchers, are vulnerable not only to lung cancer, heart disease or cancer but also to less publicized side effects such as hair loss, cataracts, wrinkling, hearing loss, cancer, tooth decay, emphysema, osteoporosis, stomach ulcers, discolored fingers, uterine cancer and miscarriage, deformed sperm, psoriasis and Buergers disease. …