HealthJustice Philippines, together with several civil society organizations and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) come together to celebrate World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), which is celebrated every 31st of May. Every year, the World Health Organization (WHO) determines the theme for WNTD, and this year’s WNTD theme is effective health warnings on tobacco packs. Health advocates and partner government agencies will celebrate this theme by affirming their support for the full implementation of the Graphic Health Warnings Law in the Philippines. Graphic Health Warnings is a very important tobacco control measure because it decreases the attractiveness of tobacco products, it restricts use of tobacco packaging as a form of tobacco advertising and promotion, it limits misleading packaging and labeling, and it increases the effectiveness of health warnings.
This year, health advocates will stage the “I CARE for TC” campaign, which stands for Informative, Creative Awareness Raising Endevour for Tobacco Control. I CARE for TC aims to visually depict the deaths caused by tobacco-related diseases. Every day, hundreds of Filipinos die every day because of tobacco-related diseases.
As part of the I CARE for TC campaign, the MMDA, one of the government agencies that strongly enforces tobacco control policies, will deploy 240 MMDA street sweepers and cleaners dressed as zombies throughout Metro Manila. These “zombies” will creatively represent the negative effects of smoking and how tobacco consumption affects the human body.
Dr. Loida Alzona, Director IV of (please insert department) MMDA says, “We are very happy that the MMDA will be playing a huge part in celebration of the World No Tobacco Day here in the Philippines. Many Filipinos are still addicted to smoking despite several warnings from the government. We at MMDA express our strong support for the full implementation of the Graphic Health Warnings Law, which is anticipated to happen this November 2016. We also encourage the public to be one with the health advocates to help them continue to save lives by reducing the number of new smokers and long-term smokers.”
“Today, we encourage everyone to join the whole world in making a stand against tobacco. The Filipino people should fight the tobacco industry and save more lives by supporting the full implementation of The Graphic Health Warnings Law. Together, we can put an end to the tobacco epidemic, for our future and our children’s future.” HealthJustice Philippines’ President Dr. Daniel Tan added.