Cancer survivors want tighter tobacco control

By Sheila Crisostomo, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 20 2014 03:33 AM | Updated as of Feb 20 2014 11:33 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The World Health Organization's (WHO) world cancer report should put pressure on the government to enact stronger tobacco control policies, a group of cancer survivors said yesterday.

“You can see that lung cancer is the most common type of cancer and the number one cause of cancer death in the world. To stop this tide of diseases and deaths we need to enact stringent tobacco control policies because lung cancer can be avoided if people stop smoking,” New Vois Association of the Philippines president Emer Rojas said in a statement.

New cancer cases are growing at an “alarming pace,” according to the WHO report.

From 12.7 million new cases in 2008, cases rose to 14.1 million in 2012, including 8.2 million deaths. By 2032, the cases are expected to increase by 70 percent or reach 25 million.

Lung is the leading cancer site, and this has been linked to smoking. It was followed by breast and colon.

Rojas said the government should strictly implement policies against smoking to curb lung cancer.

“This means that if you curb smoking you will also reduce the incidence of lung cancer and other types of cancer affecting our people. That’s why our government needs to tighten its grip on the tobacco industry and implement stronger control policies in order to stop this cancer epidemic,” he said.

Rojas said the government should now implement graphic health warnings on cigarette packages to discourage people from smoking.