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National

Philippines has highest number of female smokers in ASEAN

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

DAVAO CITY - The Philippines has the highest number of female smokers among the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations(ASEAN, according to the 2012 survey conducted by the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA).

This was confirmed in an interview by SEATCA director Bungon Ritthiphakdee, who is here for the two-day ASEAN smoke-free cities regional conference to strengthen the smoking ban policies. The conference ended Wednesday.

In said study, of the 600 million population in the ASEAN, 127 million are smokers, majority of whom are Indonesians. The Philippines ranked second in the number of smokers, Vietnam came in third. The total number of female smokers in the Philippines was not available.

SEATCO is bent on its advocacy against smoking as it wants to stop tobacco marketing, Ritthiphakdee said.

The organization is also strengthening its call to ASEAN countries to implement the placing of picture warning in cigarette packs.

Of the 10 ASEAN countries, four have already implemented the picture warning namely Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Brunei, she said.

Vietnam is set to follow suit this year, and Indonesia by next year, said Ritthiphakdee.

She said the Philippines has already committed to implement the picture warning but this is being blocked by influential tobacco industry players.

“They (tobacco industry players) are doing everything to either delay or stop the Philippines from practicing the picture warning,” she said.

 

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