Even without Noynoy, no-tobacco day a success – DOH

Despite the “defiance" of president-apparent Sen. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy" Aquino III, the Department of Health claimed the No-Tobacco Day activities last Monday were successful.

Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral said Tuesday her department convinced many Filipinos (at least for the whole month of May) to shun smoking, and ordered tobacco firms to place graphic warnings on cigarette packages. [See: DOH orders health info warnings on cigarette packs]

“Maayos naman. Ang buong buwan ng Mayo, nagkaroon ng kampanya against smoking, kasama paglabas ng administrative order na maglagay ng graphic health information sa sigarilyo at alisin ang misleading descriptor like low tar, light at mild (No-Tobacco Day was a success. During the entire month of May, we had a fruitful campaign against smoking, and we issued an administrative order to place graphic health information on cigarettes. We also had the tobacco firms remove misleading descriptors like low tar, light and mild)," Cabral said in an interview on dwIZ radio.

Aquino on Monday said he would continue to smoke even if it was World No-Tobacco Day. Aquino had had felt uncomfortable with questions about his smoking habit. [See: Noynoy says he will smoke even on no-tobacco day]

The leading presidential bet had said he is not inclined to quit his habit at this time, saying it may put added pressure on him and affect his decisions.

“Karapatan niya yan, basta wala siya sa harap ng ibang tao at di niya naha-harm ang mga iyan (That is his right, so long as he does not smoke in front of others or harm them with his smoking)," Cabral said.

In the meantime, she said the DOH will continue to give advisories on radio, television and newspapers that smoking is dangerous to one’s health.

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