MANILA, Philippines – The World Health Organization has expressed concern that the Philippines is encouraging smoking by hosting one of the world's largest tobacco trade shows.
The fair called ProTobEx ASIA will be held in Manila this week for the second consecutive year. Organizers say they chose the Philippines over other locations in Asia because of its vibrant tobacco industry and the support of the local government, which has waived a ban on indoor smoking at the venue.
Senior WHO adviser Eigil Sorensen said Tuesday that the Philippine government is a signatory to the international Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which bans tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
He says close to 14 million adult Filipinos smoke every day, and an estimated 10 die each hour from tobacco-related diseases.