Friday, March 12, 2010

Smoking is dangerous to your health and more to the minors

February 12, Gateway Suite, Cubao, Quezon City, In line with the Mga Nagbabagang Kwento: Tobacco Control Media Project of Framework Convention of Tobacco Control Alliance – Philippines, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and Probe Media Foundation Inc, there will be a three part discussion of the Tobacco Control topic on this blog. First topic will be about the danger of smoking and the current situation of smoking to minors.

Currently there are 5.4 million deaths every year because of cigarette related diseases and by 2030 there will be more that 8 million deaths yearly where 80% of the tobacco related deaths is from the developing countries. (WHO MPower, 2008). According to FCAP, in the Philippines there is 35% of the adult population who is smoking, 57 % were males and 12% were females, while 27% of the youth (18 below) population currently use tobacco products. Lastly there is 56% of the youth buy cigarettes in a store and 64% of them were not refused purchase because of their age. From here the first part of my Nagbabagang Kwento begins.

According to Dr. Maricar Limpin, FCAP’s Executive Director that there are 4, 000 chemicals releases every time a cigarette was lit. Among the chemicals are Arsenic, Ammonia, Formalin, Tar, Nicotine, Lead, Benzene and DDT (Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane). These chemicals affect smokers to be addictive to smoking because of nicotine, worse it leads to health problem such as respiratory related diseases and cancer. Dr. Limpin emphasize that smoking brings no good, and the effect reaches up to third level.

Level 1 (First Hand Smoking): The smoker who directly induces the smoke and the chemicals inside his/her system and causes harm to his/her health

Level 2 (Second Hand Smoking): The person who inhales the smoke from the cigarettes, the effect is six times more poisonous than mainstream smoke and the vulnerable victims where children and women.

Level 3 (Third Hand Smoking): The chemicals from the smoke or residue that infuse in the skin of the direct smoker or second hand smoker once the skin of a 5 year old and below child rubbed to them it can be easy absorb and cause minor skin diseases or asthma. THS also happens if someone smokes in a room and the smokes impart on the furniture and the curtain.
Aside from the effect of smoking it is alarming that the number of minors of engaging to tobacco used increases and based from the data that FCAP presented that there are 27% of the youth population is smoking and it increases due to peer pressure, adult and media influence and laidback law implementation.

Watch the video of Dr. Limpin on the topic of minors buying cigarettes and third hand smoking:

Based on the Republic Act No. 9211 or Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 it says that:

Sec. 9. Minimum Age Sales. - Under this Act, It shall be unlawful:

a. For any retailer or tobacco products to sell or distribute tobacco products to any minor;

b. For any person to purchase cigarettes or tobacco products from a minor;

c. For a minor to sell or buy cigarettes or any tobacco products; and

d. For a minor to smoke cigarettes or any other tobacco products.

It shall not be a defense for the person selling or distributing that he/she did not know or was not aware of the real age of the minor. Neither shall it be a defense that he/she did not know nor had any reason to believe that the cigarette or any other tobacco product was for the consumption of the minor to whom it was sold.

Sec. 10. Sale of Tobacco Products Within School Perimeters. - The sale or distribution of tobacco products is prohibited within one hundred (100) meters from any point of the perimeter of a school, public playground or other facility frequented particularly by minors

Violation of the law that prohibits selling tobacco products to minors: On the first offense, any person or any business entity or establishment selling to, distributing or purchasing a cigarette or any other tobacco products for a minor shall be fined the amount of not less than Five Thousand Pesos (Php5,000.00) or an imprisonment of not more than thirty (30) days, upon the discretion of the business licenses or permits in the case of a business entity or establishment.
With the current scenario that we see in the society on minors smoking and purchasing cigarettes shows that we have week implementation of the law that will prohibits minors to buy tobacco products. And alarming increase of tobacco related death shows that there is still on the campaign that “cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health” and I can’t blame them knowing that warning is only text based unlike other countries that they use image based warning showing the health effects of smoking unfortunately according to Dr. Limpin it takes time in congress to passed amendment on the or Tobacco Regulation Act.

We already see the reality maybe its time for us to decide and made our leaders work and do their job.

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