Based on a Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), there are over one million Filipinos who have quit smoking.
Based on data, from 17 million smokers in 2009, the number was reduced to 15.9 million in 2015.
Health secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial said some of the reasons seen to be the cause of the decrease in number of smokers are the ordinances and policies implemented by the local government units such as in Davao City which is 100% smoke free in public places.
The graphic health warning seen on cigarette packages have also contributed.
“We need to do more to prevent 87,000 annual deaths among Filipinos… an annual economic loss of approximately P188 billion pesos from tobacco-related hospitalization and productivity losses,” said DOH Secretary Ubial.
Another reason for a lower number of smokers is the ‘Anti- Cancer Tax Law’ or the Tobacco Tax Reform Law of 2012.
The World Health Organization (WHO), meanwhile, said the Philippines is one of the countries with the biggest decline in the number of smokers in ten years.
“The decrease in tobacco use that we’ve seen here in the Philippines over the last years is truly remarkable also from a global perspective that the 20% relative decrease in only 6 years is one of the biggest drops in any country documented in the past decade. I want to congratulate the philippines for this achievement.” said WHO Philippines representative Dr. Gundo Weiler.
The Department of Health (DOH) expects that the number of cigarette smokers will further drop with President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing of the an executive order for the nationwide smoking ban in public places upon his return to the country from Myanmar and Thailand. — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue