Child rights groups call for ‘tobacco-free generation’

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

In celebration of International Youth Day, public health and children’s rights organizations Child Rights Network (CRN) Philippines, Philippine Legislators' Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD), Gitib, Inc., and ImagineLaw launched a poster-making competition for young Filipinos ‘on the harms of the tobacco industry and its products’.

The competition is open to all Filipino youth aged 10 to 17 years old with categories for both digital and traditional (physical medium such as acrylic, watercolor, pastel, etc.) poster-making. With the theme “Sigarilyo: Panganib sa Bayan Ko,” the said competition aims to encourage youth participants to demonstrate how the tobacco industry endangers their health, well-being, and 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,” said Romeo Dongeto, executive director of PLCPD and co-convenor of CRN Philippines. “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.

In the 2015 Global Youth Tobacco Survey, 16% 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 cited.

“We are currently 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,” concluded Gitib’s executive director Roldan Gonzales.

The competition will be classified to two age groups per category: 10 to 14 years old and 15 to 17 years old. The prizes for each category will be Php7,500 for the First Prize, Php4,000 for the Second Prize, and Php3,000 for the Third Prize. Entries must be submitted to on or before August 19, 2021 at 5:00P.M.

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