Docs warn celebrities against promoting smoking | Inquirer Entertainment

Docs warn celebrities against promoting smoking

By: - Reporter
/ 07:13 PM September 30, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—Perturbed by a magazine cover showing veteran actress Nora Aunor posing with a cigarette stick in one hand, an umbrella organization of medical doctors in the country on Friday warned showbiz icons and the media against the depiction of smoking in magazines and films.

Critical of the magazine cover, the Philippine Medical Association cited various studies detailing the “enormous” influence of mass media on the increasing incidence of smoking among youth.

“We are appealing to the editors, owners of magazines and newspapers, producers of movies and television shows [and] their valued advertisers, actors, models…to be more responsible and sensitive to the welfare of our people most especially the youth,” stated Dr. Elizabeth Ifurung-Gonzales, president of the Makati Medical Society (MkMS).


The MkMS is a component organization of the PMA, which recently launched a weeklong run advocating for a healthy lifestyle in a smoke-free environment.


The PMA first voiced out its objections to the cover of Yes! Magazine’s October issue last week on the eve of the culmination of the weeklong run slated from Baguio City to Quezon City.

The magazine’s cover showed a black-and-white snapshot of a dignified Aunor, who recently returned from the United States after eight years. What irked the PMA and its members was the cigarette stick on her right hand.

Gonzales on Friday stressed that countless sufferings and deaths have been positively attributed to tobacco smoking.

Wielding power and the facilities to influence the attitude and behavior of the Filipino youth, the media and showbiz personalities idolized by many young people must “not direct them towards tobacco addiction,” said Gonzales.

“Let me remind our friends in the arts that your freedom to self expression stops where the right to life of an individual person begins,” she added.

For her part, Dr. Rializa Henson, president of the Quezon City Medical Society, urged instead the mass media, particularly those in the entertainment industry, to join the group’s crusade against the deadly habit.


“We look at smokers not as villains but as victims who needs immediate professional help,” said Henson.

“As front liners in the delivery of healthcare in the country we can not turn a blind eye on things that dupes our people most especially our youth to fall victim to this useless and killer addiction called cigarette smoking,” added the doctor.

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