Anti-smoking advocates are pushing legislators to pass a law requiring all cigarette packs to carry images about the danger of smoking.

The Frame Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance Philippines (FCAP) is gathering one million signatures to convince lawmakers to file the bill. Gruesome photos of health effects on cigarette packets are aimed at discouraging people from smoking.

Dr. Ma. Encarnita Limpin in a statement said, enacting a new law is a faster route than amending Republic Act 9211, the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003.

FCAP has sought the support of Sen. Pia Cayetano and Pampanga Congressman Ana York Bondoc to sponsor the bills in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

If the law is passed, the Philippines will be following the lead of Australia, Brazil, Canada and Thailand - all of which already use photo warnings on cigarette packs.

New Zealand may also soon join the group of countries imposing the heavy condition on cigarette manufacturers.

Studies in Canada showed that the strategy contributed to a drop in that country's smoking rate from 22 percent to 20 percent.

In Brazil, cigarette packs must contain phrases such as "Smoking causes lung cancer" and these must be accompanied by images like a man dying of cancer in a hospital.

Under the current anti-tobacco law, manufacturers are required to place prominently on cigarette packs the phrase "Warning: Cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health."