BY PRINCE GOLEZ
MANILA – With 18 affirmative votes and zero negative votes, the Senate approved on third and final reading the bill requiring tobacco companies to place graphic health warnings on their products packaging.
Senate Bill (SB) 27 authored by Senators Pia Cayetano and Franklin Drilon compels tobacco products to have health warnings on “50 percent” of their principal display surfaces.
SB 27 is also known as the “Picture Based Health Warnings Law.”
“The imposition of graphic health warnings at the front part of cigarette packages is aimed at deterring smokers from starting the vice and being addicted to it,” Cayetano, the bill’s principal author, said.
According to her, it will also encourage smokers to quit.
Under the bill, apart from the graphic warning, a text warning shall also be printed on the product.
Previously a smoker, Drilon said the move will help reduce the number of smoking-related deaths and diseases.
“Its passage will bring us closer to our goal of protecting present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke,” Drilon stressed./PN