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Eight Provinces Across the Philippines Launch New Campaign To Warn smokers About the Harms Of Tobacco

Thursday, May 31, 2012

(Manila, Philippines and New York, USA) – World No Tobacco Day marks the launch of a new tobacco control campaign across eight provinces in the Philippines. The ad, developed by the Department of Health with support from University of the Philippines and World Lung Foundation, graphically depicts the tar that collects inside an average smoker’s lungs. The campaign, called ‘Sponge,’ will air on TV, radio and outdoor venues through June.

The new “Sponge” campaign shows the amount of tar that is found in an average smoker’s lungs every year.

The eight provinces airing ‘Sponge,’ are: Misamis Occidental, Capiz, Oriental Mindoro, Agusan del Sur, Nueva Vizcaya, Biliran, Negros Oriental and Southern Leyte. The campaign, which was tested rigorously among focus groups in 2008, has already aired in Australia, China, India, Mauritius, Russia, Ukraine and several other countries. The Filipino version aims to inform cigarette smokers in the provinces about the serious impact tobacco has on their health, and to motivate them to quit before they become sick.

Sandra Mullin, Senior Vice President, Policy and Communications, World Lung Foundation said, "The provinces airing this campaign are already establishing themselves as model jurisdictions for tobacco control in the Philippines. This kind of campaign is another example of a strong commitment to public health, and one that fits in very well with best practices around the world.”

Research has shown that mass media campaigns are one of the most effective means to encourage people to stop smoking. It is one of the World Health Organization’s M-P-O-W-E-R (W=Warn) strategies to reduce tobacco consumption. MPOWER strategies are endorsed and promoted by the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, of which World Lung Foundation is a principal partner.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of mortality in the world today, and is responsible for more than five million deaths each year – one in ten preventable deaths worldwide. In the Philippines, 17.3 million adults currently smoke (28.3 percent) and 54.4 percent of adults are exposed to tobacco smoke in the home in the past month.

The ‘Sponge’ TV and radio public service announcements are available upon request.

About World Lung Foundation

World Lung Foundation was established in response to the global epidemic of lung disease, which kills 10 million people each year. The organization also works on maternal and infant mortality reduction initiatives. WLF improves global health by improving local health capacity, by supporting operational research, by developing public policy and by delivering public education. The organization’s areas of emphasis are tobacco control, maternal and infant mortality prevention, tuberculosis, asthma, and child lung health. For more information, please visit

For more information, please contact Jorge Alday, World Lung Foundation, at +1.212.639.0070 or

World Lung Foundation
61 Broadway, Suite 2800   ·  New York, NY  10006
212-542-8870 (main)   ·
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