ASOG Hosted a Stakeholder Discussion for its 2022 Tobacco Plain Packaging Study
28 Feb 2023
On February 23, 2023, the Ateneo School of Government (ASOG), supported by the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The UNION), spearheaded a closed-door stakeholder discussion to disseminate and discuss the results of its 2022 study on Filipinos’ perception of tobacco plain packaging which aims to help inform policymakers of its potential contribution to lowering the smoking prevalence in the country. Representatives from various stakeholders such as Southeast Asian Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA), Institute for Global Tobacco Control (IGTC) of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) – Philippines, and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK) among others participated and contributed to scrutinizing, reviewing, and critiquing the study, as a form of an academic exercise.
Tobacco plain packaging, or standardized packaging, is an anti-tobacco regulation that aims to eliminate the attraction of consumers to the appeal of the pack’s design and the brand associated with it. To date, only 17 countries have implemented plain packaging on tobacco products. Currently, the Philippines is behind as it implements pictorial warnings on packs on only 50% of its surface compared to the minimum 75% that plain packaging mandates. However, it is still making considerable progress in implementing plain packaging. A Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill (Senate Bill No. 2191) was filed during the 17th Congress but never progressed due to a lack of supporting local evidence. In Asia, only five countries currently have it in implementation: Thailand, Singapore, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.
The Tobacco Control and Governance program of ASOG conducted an initial study in 2021 to gather local evidence on the impact of Philippine-designed GHWs and the potential impact of plain packaging in the Philippines. With the results of the 2021 study implying the feasibility of adapting plain packaging in the country, ASOG’s 2022 study focused on Filipino consumers’ perceptions of plain packaging and its implementation as a national policy. The study is part of continuing efforts to advance the conversation to further anti-tobacco policies in the Philippines and to build local evidence crucial in formulating policy and addressing challenges in legislation and industry interference.
INVITATION: ASOG Webinar on “Trilateral Cooperation Among Philippines, United States, and Japan: Acceptability, Implications, and Impact on Regional Security” (27 June 2023)
09 Jun 2023