Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Tobacco Control Begins to Take Hold in the Philippines

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Tobacco Control Begins to Take Hold in the Philippines

Article excerpt

Restaurants and bars that allow smoking now risk being closed by the city authorities in Manila's business district. This tough new approach is a direct result of Republic Act 9211, which regulates "the packaging, use, sale, distribution and advertisement of tobacco products" and was passed on 23 June 2003. The act is a milestone for the Philippines and ends a 13-year deadlock on public health policy between the two houses of Congress.

The new legislation was sponsored by Senator Juan Flavier, a former Secretary of Health, and conforms to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, adopted by the World Health Assembly in May 2003. It covers some of the most contentious aspects of the treaty: bans on advertising, promotion and sponsorship, and labelling.

Previous attempts to regulate tobacco through legislation included the Consumer Act of 1991, which required clearly visible health warning labels on tobacco products. Its implementation was delayed by a case filed by the tobacco lobby against the government until the Supreme Court finally ruled in favour of the Department of Health in 2001. …

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