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Ban on tobacco ads pushed – Manila Standard Today
Ban on tobacco ads pushed
By Macon Ramos-Araneta | Posted on May. 18, 2013 at 12:01am | 651 views

The Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance or SEATCA on Friday called on
the governments of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to strictly
ban all advertising, promotion, and sponsorship of tobacco products, as
it claimed that there are loopholes in measures to stop tobacco
promotions across the region.

SETCA director Bungon Ritthiphakdee added that only a comprehensive
efforts by national governments can prevent the gaps from being exploited
by the tobacco industry.

While the region’s governments have laws to limit access to tobacco
products, Ritthipakdee explained that most were not comprehensive enough,
and have yet to completely fulfill the requirements under the provisions
in Article 13 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

“While we have made progress in the region, there is still room for the
tobacco industry to communicate directly with young people.

She said the loopholes must be plugged as she noted that the tobacco
industry is “resorting to tactics to circumvent laws and policies, to
promote their toxic products, particularly to our women and children.”

She said Southeast Asia is the tobacco industry cash cow, and companies
such as Philip Morris International (PMI) salivate when expanding its
market in our region.

“Most unfortunately for our people, especially the young, they have
tagged Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand as growth opportunities in the
ASEAN. PMI’s gain is our loss – more disease and death for us.”

The FCTC is a global treaty to which all ASEAN countries, except for
Indonesia, are parties.

The treaty outlines goals and objectives to which parties are committed,
all with the view of curbing tobacco use. Article 13 of the FCTC
recognizes that only “comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising,
promotion and sponsorship (TAPS) would reduce the consumption of tobacco
products”, and should therefore be pursued by all parties.

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