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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
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

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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