DOH won’t compromise on cigarette warning

CIGARETTE vendors and dealers will have to find their own ways to market and continue selling cigarette packs once graphic health warning labels will be stuck on their products starting March 4.

Department of Health region 11 director Abdullah Dumama Jr. said on Friday that the use of graphic images on cigarette packs is meant to discourage smoking as based on RA 10643 or The Graphic Health Warnings Law. Its implementing rules and regulations were released earlier this February.

The law requires that graphic images occupy half of the packs of tobacco products.

Tobacco manufacturers and dealers are all obliged to fully comply by November. Otherwise, they will be penalized with fines of up to two million pesos and or imprisonment of not more than five years, or cancellation of business.

“This is going to be a big disappointment to their business,” Dumama said, adding that there is just no way for this to be renegotiated anymore, following the three years’ worth of discussions and research that took place for the law to be put to action.

“We cannot compromise and make deals anymore because we have been working on this for so long already,” he said, emphasizing how public health out weights business.

He added that how sellers will market tobacco products will be left for them to figure out.

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