Republic Act No. 9211

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S. No. 1859
H. No. 5950
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Metro Manila
Twelfth Congress
Second Regular Session


Begun and held in Metro Manila, on Monday, the twenty-second
day of July, two thousand two.


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Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of
the Philippines in Congress assembled:


SECTION 1. Short Title.- This act shall be known as the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003.


SEC. 2. Policy.-It is the policy of the State to protect the populace from hazardous products and promote the right to health and instill health consciousness among them. It is also the policy of the State, consistent with the Constitutional ideal to promote the general welfare, to safeguard the interests of the workers and other stakeholders of the tobacco industry. For these purposes, the government shall institute a balanced policy whereby the use, sale and advertisements of tobacco products shall be regulated in order to promote a healthful environment and protect the citizens from the hazards of tobacco smoke, and at the same time ensure that the interests of tobacco farmers, growers, workers and stakeholders are not adversely compromised.


SEC. 3. Purpose. – It is the main thrust of this Act to:


a. Promote a healthful environment;


b. Inform the public of health risks associated with cigarette smoking and tobacco use;


c. Regulate and subsequently ban all tobacco advertisements and sponsorships;


d. Regulate the labeling of tobacco products;


e. Protect the youth from being initiated to cigarette smoking and tobacco use by prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to minors;


f. Assist and encourage Filipino tobacco farmers to cultivate alternative agricultural crops to prevent economic dislocation; and


g. Create an Inter-Agency Committee on Tobacco (IAC-Tobacco) to oversee the implementation of the provisions of this act


SEC. 4. Definition of Terms. – As used in this Act:


a. “Advertisement” – refers to any visual and/or audible message disseminated to the public about or on a particular product that promote and give publicity by words, designs, images or any other means through broadcast electronic, print or whatever form of mass media, including outdoor advertisements, such as but not limited to signs and billboards. For the purpose of this act, advertisement shall be understood as tobacco advertisement.


b. “Advertising” – refers to the business of conceptualizing, presenting, making available and communicating to the public, through any form of mass media, any fact, data or information about the attributes, features, quality or availability of consumer products, services or credit.


For the purpose of this Act, advertising shall be understood as tobacco advertising. This shall refer to any messages and images promoting smoking; the purchase or use of cigarette or tobacco products; and cigarette or tobacco trademarks, brand names, design and manufacturer’s names.


c. “Advertiser” – refers to a person or entity on whose account or for whom an advertisement is prepared and disseminated by the advertising agency, which is a service established and operated for the purpose of counseling or creating and producing and/or implementing advertising programs in various forms of media;


d. “Cigarette” – refers to any roll or tubular construction, which contains tobacco or its derivatives and is intended to be burned or heated under ordinary conditions of use;


e. “Distributor” – refers to any person to whom a tobacco product is delivered or sold for purposes of distribution in commerce, except that such terms does not include a manufacturer or retailer or common carrier of such product;


f. “Mass media” – refers to any medium of communication designed to reach a mass of people. For this purpose, mass media includes print media such as, but not limited to, newspapers, magazines, and publications; broadcast media such as, but not limited to, radio, television, cable television, and cinema; electronic media such as but not limited to the Internet;


g. “Minor” – refers to any person below eighteen (18) years old;

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h. “Manufacturer” – refers to any person or entity, including a re-packer, who makes, fabricates, assembles, or labels a finished product;


i. “Package” – refers to packs, boxes, cartons or containers of any kind in which any tobacco product is offered for sale to consumers;


j. “Person” – refers to an individual, partnership, corporation or any other business or legal entity;


k. “Point-of-Sale” – refers to any location at which an individual can purchase or otherwise obtain tobacco products.


l. “Promotion” – refers to an event or activity organized by or on behalf of a tobacco manufacturer, distributor, or retailer with the aim of promoting a brand of tobacco product, which event or activity would not occur but for the support given to it by or on behalf of the tobacco manufacturer, distributor, or retailer. It may also refer to the display of a tobacco product or manufacturer’s name, trademark, logo, etc. on non-tobacco products. This includes the paid use of tobacco products bearing the brand names, trademarks, logos, etc. in movies, television and other forms of entertainment. For the purpose of this Act, promotion shall be understood as tobacco promotion;


m. “Public conveyances” – refers to modes of transportation servicing the general population, such as, but not limited to, elevators, airplanes, buses, taxicabs, ships, jeepneys, light rail transits, tricycles, and similar vehicles;


n. “Public places” – refers to enclosed or confined areas of all hospitals, medical clinics, schools, public transportation terminals and offices, and buildings such as private and public offices, recreational places, shopping malls, movie houses, hotels, restaurants, and the like;


o. “Retailer” – refers to any person who or entity that sells tobacco products to individuals for personal consumption;


p. “Smoking” – refers to the act of carrying a lighted cigarette or other tobacco products, whether or not it is being inhaled or smoked;


q. “Sponsorship” – refers to any public or private contribution to a third party in relation to an event, team or activity made with the aim of promoting a brand of tobacco product, which event, team or activity would still exist to occur without such contribution. For the purpose of this Act, sponsorship shall be understood as tobacco sponsorship;


r. “Tobacco” – refers to agricultural components derived from the tobacco plant, which are processed for use in the manufacturing of cigarettes and other tobacco products;


s. “Tobacco product” – refers to any product that consists of loose tobacco that contains nicotine and is intended for use in a cigarette, including any product containing tobacco and intended for smoking or oral and nasal use. Unless stated otherwise, the requirements of this Act pertaining to cigarettes shall also apply to other tobacco products;


t. “Tobacco grower” – refers to any person who plants tobacco before the enactment of the Act and classified as such by the National Tobacco Administration (NTA); and


u. “Warning” – refers to the notice printed on the tobacco product or its container and/or displayed in print or aired in broadcast or electronic media including outdoor advertising and which shall bear information on the hazards of tobacco use.


Healthful Environment[edit]

SEC. 5. Smoking ban in public places - Smoking shall be absolutely prohibited in the following public places:


a. Centers of youth activity such as playschools, preparatory schools, elementary schools, high schools, colleges and universities, youth hostels and recreational facilities for person under eighteen (18) years old;


b. Elevators and stairwells;


c. Locations in which fire hazards are present, including gas stations and storage areas for flammable liquids, gas, explosives or combustible materials;


d. Within the buildings and premises of public and private hospitals, medical, dental, and optical clinics, health centers, nursing homes, dispensaries and laboratories;


e. Public conveyances and public facilities including airport and ship terminals and train and bus stations, restaurants and conference halls, except for separate smoking areas; and


f. Food preparation areas.


SEC. 6. Designate Smoking and Non-smoking Areas. - In all enclosed places that are open to the general public, private workplaces, and other places not covered under the preceding section, where smoking may expose a person other than the smoker to tobacco smoke, the owner, proprietor, operator, possessor, manager, or administrator of such places shall establish smoking and non-smoking areas. Such areas may include a designated smoking area within the building, which may be in an open space or separate area with proper ventilation, but shall not be located within the same room that has been designated as non-smoking area.


All designated smoking areas shall have at least one (1) legible and visible sign posted, namely "SMOKING AREA" for the information and guidance of all concerned. In addition, the sign or notice shall include a warning about the health effects of direct or secondhand exposure to tobacco smoke. Non-smoking areas shall likewise have at least one (1) legible and visible sign, namely: "NON-SMOKING AREA" or "NO SMOKING."


Access Restrictions[edit]

SEC. 7. Vending Machines, Self-Serve Facilities. - Unless the vending machine has a mechanism for age verification, the sale and distribution of tobacco products to minors by means of a vending machine or self-service facility or similar contraption or device is prohibited, except at point-of-sale establishments.


SEC. 8. Retailer Compliance with Respect to Self-Serve Facilities - Each retailer shall ensure that all tobacco-related self-service displays or facilities, advertising, labeling and other items that are located in the establishment of the retailer and that do not comply with the requirement of this Act are removed or are brought into compliance with the requirements of this Act.


SEC. 9. Minimum Age Sales - Under this Act, it shall be unlawful:


a. For any retailer of tobacco products to sell or distribute tobacco products to any minor;


b. For any person to purchase cigarettes or tobacco products from a minor;


c. For a minor to sell or buy cigarettes or any tobacco product; and


d. For a minor to smoke cigarettes or any other tobacco products.


It shall not be a defense for the person selling or distributing that he/she did not know or was not aware of the real age of the minor. Neither shall it be a defense that he/she did not know nor had any reason to believe that the cigarette or any tobacco product was for the consumption of the minor to whom it was sold.


SEC. 10. Sale of Tobacco Products Within School Perimeters. - The sale or distribution of tobacco products is prohibited within one hundred (100) meters away from any point of the perimeter of the school, public playground or other facility frequently particularly by minors.


SEC. 11. Signage. - Point-of-Sale establishments offering, distributing or selling tobacco products to consumers, shall post the following statement in a clear and conspicuous manner: "SALE AND DISTRIBUTION TO OR PURCHASE BY MINORS OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS IS UNLAWFUL" or "IT IS UNLAWFUL FOR TOBACCO PRODUCTS TO BE SOLD/DISTRIBUTED TO OR PURCHASED BY PERSONS UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE."


SEC. 12. Proof of Age Verification - In case of doubt as to the age of the buyer, retailers shall verify, by means of any valid form of photographic identification containing the date of birth of the bearer, that no individual purchasing a tobacco product is below eighteen (18) years of age.


Advertising and Promotions[edit]

SEC. 13. Warnings on cigarette packages - Under this Act:


a. All packages in which tobacco products are provided to consumers withdrawn from the manufacturing facility of all manufacturers or imported into the Philippines intended for sale to the market, starting 1 January 2007, shall be printed in either English or Filipino, on a rotating basis or separately and simultaneously, the following health warnings:


"GOVERNMENT WARNING: Cigarette Smoking is Dangerous to Your Health;"


"GOVERNMENT WARNING: Cigarettes are Addictive;"


"GOVERNMENT WARNING: Tobacco Smoke Can Harm Your Children;" or


"GOVERNMENT WARNING: Smoking Kills."


b. Upon effectivity of this act until 31 December 2006, the health warning shall be located on one side panel of every tobacco product package and occupy not less than fifty percent (50%) of such side panel including any border and frame.


c. Beginning 1 January 2007, the health warning shall be located on the bottom portion of one (1) front panel of every tobacco product package and occupy not less than thirty percent (30%) of such front panel including any frame or boder. The text of the warning shall appear in clearly legible type in black text on a white background with a black border and in contrast by typography, layout or color to the other printed matter on the package. The health warning shall occupy a total area of not less than fifty percent (50%) of the total warning frame.


d. The warnings shall be rotated periodically, or separately and simultaneously printed, so that within any twenty-four (24) month period, the four (4) variations of the warnings shall appear with proportionate frequency.


e. The warning shall not be hidden or obscured by other printed information or images, or printed in a location where tax or fiscal stamps are likely to be applied to the package or placed in a location where it will be damaged when the package is opened. If the warning to be printed on the package is likely to be obscured or obliterated by a wrapper on the package, the warning must be printed on both the wrapper and the package.


f. In addition to health warnings, all packages of tobacco products that are provided to consumers shall contain, on one side panel, the following statement in a clear, legible and conspicuous manner:: "NO SALE TO MINORS" or "NOT FOR SALE TO MINORS." The statement shall occupy an area of not less that ten percent (10%) of such side panel and shall appear in contrast by color, typography or layout with all the other printed material on the side panel.


g. No other printed warnings, except the health warning and the message required in this section, paragraph f. shall be placed on cigarette packages.
SEC. 14. Warnings on Advertising - Under this Act:


a. All tobacco advertising in mass media shall contain either in English or Filipino, the following health warning, "GOVERNMENT WARNING: Cigarette Smoking is Dangerous to Your Health."


b. For print and outdoor advertisements, the warning frame shall be centered across the bottom of the advertisement and occupy a total area of not less that fifteen percent (15%) of such advertisement including any border or frame. The health warning shall occupy a total area of not less that fifty percent (50%) of the total warning frame. The text on the health warnings shall be clearly visible and legible, printed in a prominent color as appropriate and shall appear in contrast by color, typography or layout with all other printed material in the advertisement. The warning shall not be hidden or obscured by other printed information or images in the advertisement.


c. For television and cinema advertisements, the warning shall be clearly shown and voiced over the last five (5) seconds of the advertisement, regardless of the duration of the advertisement, even when such advertisement is silent. The health warning shall occupy a total area of not less than fifty percent (50%) of the television screen and shall be clearly visible, legible, and audible, in black text on white background or white text on black background. No other images except the warning shall be included in the warning frame.

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d. For radio advertisements, the warning stated after the advertisement shall be clearly and audibly voiced over in the last five (5) seconds of the advertisement, regardless of its duration.

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SEC. 15. Restrictions on Advertising. The following restrictions shall apply to all tobacco advertising:

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a. Advertisements shall not be aimed at or particularly appeal to persons under eighteen (18) years of age.

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b. Advertisements shall not feature a celebrity or contain an endorsement, implied or expressed, by a celebrity.

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c. Advertisements shall not contain cartoon characters or subjects that depict humans or animals with comically exaggerated features or that attribute animals or unnatural characteristics to animals, plants or other objects.

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d. Advertisements shall only depict persons who are or who appear to be above twenty-five (25) years of age.

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e. Advertisements shall not show, portray or depict scenes where the actual use of, or the act of using, puffing, or lighting cigarettes or other tobacco products is presented to the public.
Section 16. Restrictions on Print Media Advertising. - The following restrictions shall apply to all print media tobacco advertisements:

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a. Advertisements shall not be placed in any printed publication unless there is a reasonable basis to believe that at least seventy-five percent (75%) of the readers of such publication are eighteen (18) years of age and above, and the number of youth who read it constitutes less than ten percent (10%) of all youth in the Philippines.

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b. Advertisements shall not be placed on the packaging or outside covers (front and back) of a magazine, newspaper, journal or other publication printed for general circulation.

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Section 17. Restrictions on Outdoor Advertising - The following restrictions shall apply to all print media tobacco advertisements:

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a. Outdoor advertisements shall not be placed on billboards, wall murals, or transport stops or stations which are within the one hundred (100) meters from any point of the perimeter of a school, public playground or other facility frequented particularly by persons below eighteen (18) years of age.

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b. Outdoor advertisements shall not, either individually or when placed indeliverate combination with other outdoor tobacco advertising, exceed seventy (70) square meters in total size.

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c. Outdoor advertisements shall not be placed on taxis, buses, trains or other public conveyance or in stations, terminals or platforms thereof, except point-of-sale establishments.

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Section 18. Restrictions on Advertising In Cinemas - Tobacco advertisements are prohibited in connection with the showing of any film where persons below eighteen (18) years old are permitted admission

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Section 19. Restrictions on Television - Advertisements shall not be broadcast on television, cable television, and radio between seven o' clock in the morning and seven o' clock at night.

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Section 20. Restriction on Advertising In Audio, Video And Computer Cassettes/discs And Similar Medium - No electronic advertisements shall be incorporated within any video or audio cassette, videogame machine, optical disc or any similar medium, unless access to the item is restricted to persons eighteen (18) years of age or older. For the purpose of this Section, video game includes any electronic amusement device that utilizes a computer, microprocessor, or similar electronic circuitry and its own cathode ray tube, or is designed to be used with a television set or monitor that interacts with the user of the device.

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Section 21. Restrictions on Advertising On The Internet And Similar Medium - Advertisement are prohibited on the internet and other similar medium unless that Internet site is restricted to persons eighteen (18) years of age or older. A site will be deemed restricted if a person cannot obtain access beyond the first page of the website unless the persons has established that he or she is at least eighteen (18) years old. This limitation applies to commercial communications and shall not prevent the use of company Internet websites to provide information regarding a company, its products and smoking and health related information. This Section shall prohibit business-to-business transactions conducted on the Internet, and other similar medium between tobacco manufactures, retailers and distributors.

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Section 22. Ban On Advertisements - Beginning 1 January 2016, all tobacco advertising on television, cable television and radio shall be prohibited.

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Beginning 1 July 2016, all cinema and outdoor advertising shall be prohibited. No leaflets, posters and similar outdoor advertising materials be posted, except inside the premises of point-of-sale retail establishments.

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Beginning 1 July 2017, all forms of tobacco advertising in mass media shall be prohibited except tobacco advertisements placed inside the premises of point-of sale establishments.

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Section 23. Restrictions on Tobacco Promotions - The following restrictions shall apply on all tobacco promotions.

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a. Promotions must be directed only to persons at least eighteen (18) years old. No person below eighteen (18) years old or who appear to be below eighteen (18) years old may participate in such promotions. The participants in promotions must be required to provide proof of age.

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b. Communications to consumers about tobacco promotions shall comply with the provisions of this Act governing tobacco advertising. In addition to the required health warning, the age requirement for participation in any promotion must be clearly marked on the program materials distributed to consumers.

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c. All stalls, booths and other display concerning tobacco promotions must be limited to point-of-sale of adult only facilities.

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d. Telephone Communications concerning promotional offers, programs or events must include a recorded health warning message in English or Filipino consistent with the warnings specified in this Act.

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e. No placement shall be made by manufacturer, distributor, or retailer of any tobacco product or tobacco product packages and advertisement as a prop in any television program or motion picture produced for viewing by the general public or in a video, or optical disc or on video game machine.

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f. The name, logo or other indicia of a cigarette brand may appear on cigarette lighters, ashtrays, of other smoking related items. If such name, logo or other indicia of the cigarette brand is larger than fifty (50) square centimeters, the item must carry a health warning consistent with the warnings specified in this Act.

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g. No merchandise such as, but not limited to, t-shirts, caps, sweatshirts, visors, backpacks, sunglasses, writing implements and umbrellas, may be distributed, sold or offered, directly or indirectly, with the name, logo or other indicia of a cigarette brand displayed so as to be visible to others when worn or used. Clothing items must be in adult sizes only.

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h. No name, logo or other indicia of a cigarette brand or element of a brand-related marketing activity, may appear on items that are marketed to or likely to be used by minors such as but not limited to sports equipment, toys, dolls, miniature replicas of racing vehicles, video games, and food. The manufacturer or company must take all available measures to prevent third parties from using the company's brand names. Logos or other proprietary material on products that are directed toward minors.

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i. No tobacco advertisements may be placed on shopping bags.

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Section 24. Naming Rights. - Subject to the provision of this Act:

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a. No manufacturer may enter into any agreement pursuant to which payment is made or other consideration is provided by such manufacturer to any sports league, or any team involved in any such league, in exchange for use of tobacco products brand.

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b. No manufacturer may enter into any agreement for the naming rights of any stadium or arena using a tobacco product brand name or otherwise cause a stadium or arena to be name with such a brand name.

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Section 25. Restrictions on Sponsorships. Beginning 1 July 2006:

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a. No sponsorship shall be provided for:

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1) an event or activity which bears a tobacco product brand name, unless there is reasonable basis to believe that all persons who compete, or otherwise taken an active part, in the sponsored events or activities, are person eighteen (18) years of age or older;

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2) a team or individual bearing a tobacco product name, unless all persons under eighteen (18) years of age or older;

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3) a sponsored event or activity reasonably believed to be particular appear to persons under eighteen (18) years old.

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b. Tobacco brand sponsorship shall be prohibited except where there is a reasonable basis to believe that:

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1) attendance at the sponsored event or activity will comprise no less than seventy-five percent (75%) persons at least eighteen years of age or older;

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2) the sponsored event or activity will not be of particular appeal to persons under eighteen (18) years old;

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3) the sponsored event or activity will not receive exposure, other than as a news item, on television or radio or the Internet, unless such exposure complies with the provisions of this Act governing tobacco marketing through those media; and

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4) the principal activity associated with the sponsorship does not require above-average physical fitness for someone of the age group of those taking part.

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c. All persons authorized to bear tobacco product advertisement, logos and brand names at sponsored events shall be at least eighteen (18) years old.

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d. All forms of advertising associated with or ancillary to sponsorship shall comply with the marketing provisions of this Act.


Section 26. Ban on Sponsorships. - Beginning 1 July 2023, cigarette and tobacco companies are hereby prohibited from sponsoring any sport, concert, cultural art or event, as well as individual and team athletes, artists, or performers where such sponsorship shall required or involve the advertisement or promotion of any cigarette or tobacco company, tobacco product or tobacco use, name, logo or trademarks and other words, symbols, designs, colors or other depictions commonly associated with or likely to identify a tobacco product; Provided further, That no manufacturer may register a tobacco brand name as a company name after the passage of this Act.


Section 27. Restriction on Sampling. - The distribution of samples of tobacco products to persons below eighteen (18) years old is prohibited.


Section 28. Legal Action. - Any legal action in connection with the tobacco industry shall be governed by the provisions of the Philippine Civil Code and other applicable laws.