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» 12/05/2008
PHILIPPINES
Philippines: teenage smoking at alarming levels
by Santosh Digal
30% of girls between 13 and 15 years old smoke regularly. 90% of women say they are aware of the risks of smoking, but aren't quitting. At the university hospital of Manila, a strict anti-smoking rule is in effect: those who are caught smoking are suspended.

Manila (AsiaNews) - In the Philippines, the number of women who smoke is constantly on the rise. It is a phenomenon that, in recent years, seems to affect the youngest most of all: 30% of girls between the ages of 13 and 15 smoke regularly.

According to a recent study conducted by the Southeast Asia Tabacco Control Alliance, 18.7% of Filipino young women between the ages of 13 and 25 smoke cigarettes. The numbers go up if the sample is restricted to teenagers between 13 and 15: 3 out of 10 already have the smoking habit. Among female smokers, 60% say that they smoked their first cigarette at the age of 18, while the remaining 40% say they started when they were still very young.

They continue to smoke despite the fact that they are aware of the risks connected to smoking: nine girls out of ten know that smoking can cause lung cancer, infertility, early menopause, osteoporosis, and hysterectomy. For this reason, the country has begun an anti-smoking campaign supported by the local Catholic Church: the first initiatives include that of putting warning labels on packaging.

Sister Tina Aguilar, director of the University of Santo Tomas Hospital, focuses attention on parents and teachers, who "must be the first to monitor minors and their behavior." The Catholic university center welcomes more than 40,000 students, and has implemented a strict ban on smoking. The anti-tobacco campaign is inflexible: before being admitted, every student must sign a document declaring that he or she will not smoke or take drugs. The health services of the university also provide for surprise checkups among students, to verify that the agreement is being respected. Those who test positive are suspended, and cannot attend classes.


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See also
10/28/2008 UAE
Cartoons and posters to keep Arab young people away from alcohol, drugs, and smoking
09/03/2008 SAUDI ARABIA
Ramadan in Makkah, an opportunity to quit smoking
02/02/2011 BHUTAN
Buddhist monk, first casualty in anti-smoke law, could get five years in prison
06/30/2009 SAUDI ARABIA
Saudi anti-smoking campaign offers fabulous wedding
01/18/2007 PHILIPPINES
Manila vows to finish off terrorists

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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