/ 11 August 2021

TO EDUCATE the Filipino youth on the dangers of tobacco use, various public health and children’s rights groups joined forces and launched a poster-making competition.

The Child Rights Network Philippines, Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development, Gitib, Inc., and ImagineLaw launched the competition to demonstrate how the tobacco industry and its products endangers the health and well-being not only of the youth but also the community.

“Even with the harms brought by their products to a person’s health, we know that tobacco companies are targeting children and young people as their next generation of consumers to ensure profit,” Romeo Dongeto, executive director of PLCPD and co-convenor of CRN Philippines, said.

“This art competition for Filipino youth and children is a signal to protect the next generations from nicotine addiction. Through this art competition, we listen to what Filipino youth and children have to say,” he added.

The theme of the competition is “Sigarilyo: Panganib sa Bayan Ko.” It is open to those aged 10-17. Posters could be in digital or traditional format.

The 2015 Global Youth Tobacco Survey said 16 percent of Filipinos aged 13 to 15 are smokers while data from the National Nutrition Survey released by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute in 2019 reveal that one of five vape users in the country are adolescents or 19 years old and below, the groups said.

“We are seeing how the tobacco industry employs advertising and promotional activities like hiring social media influencers to get children and young people to smoke. And this competition is a response to this deceptive strategy. We encourage children and youth to express through art how they visualize the harmful activities and deception of tobacco companies that directly target them,” explained ImagineLaw executive director Atty. Sophia Monica San Luis.

“Now more than ever, we need to empower our youth to become part of the fight against tobacco. We need to provide them with all the means to lead a Tobacco-Free Generation,” Gitib’s executive director Roldan Gonzales said.