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Submitted: 16 January 2019 Modified: 29 January 2019
HERDIN Record #: R07-CIM-19011610080454

A study on the effect of the graphic health warning law (RA 10643) on the smoking habits of known smokers in the Business Process Outsourcing Industry.

Nova Blanche Barluado,
Tashi Bascon,
Kathleen Frances Caseñas,
Jamaica  Dela Cruz,
Edric Jaben Demicillo,
Blair Elpidio Jala,
Bea Angeli  Kuizon,
John Steven Sombrio,
Jaye Patricia Yap

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Background: On March 3, 2016, the Graphic Health Warning Law or RA 10643 took effect. It had the aim of discouraging smoking through the use of images of adverse health effects of smoking printed on tobacco product packaging. Months have passed since then. Did it bring about the desired effect? The researchers attempt to answer this question in a very specific population. Investigations show that smoking incidence was directly proportional to the rise in the number of BPO workers, especially those with graveyard shifts. Hence, the decision to focus on call center agents in Cebu City. General Objective: To know the effect of the graphic health warnings on cigarette packs among smokers in the Business Process Outsourcing industry. Study Design: This is a descriptive cross-sectional study to identify a reduction of the incidence of smoking within the business process outsourcing industry upon the introduction of the Graphic Health Warning Law. Study Setting: The study was performed at Asia town I.T. Park, Lahug, Cebu City where the targeted companies are located on March 2016. Study Population: The study included call center agents regardless of age, gender and date of employment working within the research setting who are Current smokers smoking at least 1 stick per day or Ex-smokers who used to smoke at least 1 stick per day but had quit after March 3, 2016. Maneuvers: Questionnaires were handed to known smokers within the study population. After their participation, they were asked for referrals of other subjects that fit the study's inclusion criteria. Those respondents, in turn, were asked for other referrals, and so on. After the data collecting period, the data were tabulated and summarized. Outcome Measures: A Two-tailed Paired-Difference t-Test was used to analyze the data. It was determined whether there is a significant  difference between their smoking habits prior  to March 3, 2016 and the present. Furthermore, it was computed if the graphic health warning law has had significant impact on this change. Conclusion: There was no significant difference between the smoking habits of call center agents before and after the Graphic Health Warning Law was implemented. Of those whose smoking habits have declined, 51.85% claimed that the new law had an effect on them. Furthermore, 10.96% of all respondents claimed not to notice the new graphic warnings at all. Lastly, 39.73% of all respondents believed on the effectiveness of the program.

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Cebu Institute of Medicine Abstract Print Format
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