Philippine ‘Sponge’ Campaign Warns Smokers About Tar In Cigarettes

Philippine 'Sponge' Campaign Warns Smokers About Tar In Cigarettes

Health
March 26, 2013

Eight provinces across the Philippines today launched a new campaign to warn people about the harms of tar in cigarettes.

AsianScientist (Mar. 26, 2013) – Eight provinces across the Philippines today launched a new campaign to warn people about the harms of tar in cigarettes.

The ad campaign, called ‘Sponge,’ was developed by the Department of Health with support from University of the Philippines and World Lung Foundation, and graphically depicts the tar that collects inside an average smoker’s lungs. It will air on TV, radio and outdoor venues for a minimum of four weeks, with some provinces sustaining the campaign for longer.

Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemical compounds in the form of hot gases and millions of tiny particles (also known as aerosols). Tar is the common name and an acronym (Total Aerosol Residue) for all of those particles. Each particle in tar is composed of a variety of chemical compounds, many of which are known to cause cancer and other
deadly diseases.

In the Philippines, 17.3 million adults currently smoke (28.3 percent) and 54.4 percent of adults were exposed to tobacco smoke in the home in the past month.

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 among focus groups in 2008, has aired in more than ten countries. The Filipino version aims to inform cigarette smokers about the serious impact tobacco has on their health, and to motivate them to quit before they become sick.

“Our government is committed to reducing the toll tobacco takes on health in our community. This campaign uses a scientific approach to deliver a clear message about the poisonous chemicals in cigarettes,” said Assistant Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial of the Department of Health.

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.

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Source: World Lung Foundation.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

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