Senator Pia S. Cayetano: Protect our youth from misinformation on Tobacco and Vape Products

“Children will mimic what they see and hear.” 

Senator Pia S. Cayetano, World Health Organization’s 2023 World No Tobacco Day Awardee, said this during the World No Tobacco Day Forum held at the Fabella Hospital, Manila, as she stressed the importance of setting a good example for the youth, in line with this year’s theme, “Protecting Children from Tobacco Industry Interference.”

In her message, the Senator called for more transparency in the marketing and sale of tobacco and vape products, and the dangers they pose to public health. 

“Pakinggan niyo yung sinasabi, yung naririnig niyo, at tingnan niyo kung ano yung source,” she added, emphasizing the need to listen to the health experts and refer to credible studies and findings that are based on sound research.

The Senator also shared that on her way to the forum, she passed by a vape shop with a misleading tagline, “Healthy Vaping Experience.” This is a blatant violation of the Vape Law (RA 11900), the Senator said. 

“There is more to be done to make this a safer place for our children. We all have a role to play in this battle to protect our youth from these harmful products. This requires a whole-of-society approach,” she concluded.

Senator Cayetano, a staunch health advocate and critic of the tobacco industry, has been at the forefront of safeguarding the youth from these harmful products over the last two decades. She previously led the way in passing a law requiring all cigarette packs to have graphic health warnings on them, in an effort to inform people of the hazards of smoking and inhaling second-hand smoke. Furthermore, under the Sin Tax Reform Law, Cayetano pushed for the increase in taxes on alcohol and tobacco, including vapes and similar products, to fund social services and curb excessive smoking and drinking habits among Filipinos. She has also been advocating against vaping as a “safer” alternative to smoking. In a recent Blue Ribbon Committee hearing that she chairs, Cayetano raised concerns over the widespread illegal sale of vape products, and reminded the Department of Trade and Industry of the June 5 deadline requiring all vape sellers to properly register.

The World No Tobacco Day Forum was organized by the Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Philippines, the Philippine Pediatric Society, the Lung Center of the Philippines, and the Philippine College of Physicians.#



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