HEALTH ADVOCATES known to have lobbied for stronger tobacco control have taken their fight to social media, sharing their personal experience with smoking. Dr. Antonio Dans, professor of cardiology and clinical epidemiology at the University of the Philippines, and one of the most active anti-smoking advocates in the country, revealed his family’s pain from the loss of his father and sister, both to tobacco. Dr. Dans said his father was a heavy smoker who died of lung cancer at an early age of 69. Two years prior to his death, the older Mr. Dans had suffered a stroke. “Smoking was not his fault,” Dr. Dans, said arguing that smokers just like his father were thrown into the habit because it was glamorized and because cigarettes in the Philippines, being one of the cheapest in the world, were highly accessible. Dr. Maricar Limpin, executive director of the Framework Convention Tobacco Control Alliance Philippines, also shared how her family struggled through hard times when her father died in his 30s. Using the hashtags #DearAngara #HealthWarriors, health advocates are seeking the people’s support to persuade legislators to include increasing the sin tax in tobacco as part of the government’s Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN). —

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