Filipinos among World’s Top Smokers

Despite many laws that restrict smoking, Filipino smoking men are among the top smokers in the world being on the ninth place following India and China among others, American Cancer Society and World Lung Foundation found on Tuesday.

The 2008 findings were found by the Department of Health as it sought to emphasize the urgency of the passage of the sin tax bill.

Other countries with top male smokers forward of the Philippines are Indonesia, the Russian Federation, USA, Japan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

Smoking Black Woman

Woman holding a cigarette

Male smokers from China occupied the top place with 311,203,202, next is India with 229,392,725; Indonesia – 53,392,709; the Russian Federation – 32,827,525; USA – 32,474,518; Bangladesh – 21,453,341; Pakistan – 17,723, 216; and the Philippines on 9th place with 17,634,512.

Meantime, the rate of female Filipino smokers rose from the 26th spot in 2006 to 16th place in 2008.

American female smokers’ rate is the highest with 23,671,860; China is on the second place – 13,532,810; India – on the third one with 11,908,517; the Russian Federation – on the fourth place with 10,189,820 and the Philippines on the fifth with 3,848,908.

The Philippines’ global adult tobacco research in 2009 found that adults, who currently smoke cigarettes, 15 years and above achieved 17.3 million with 14.6 million male smokers and 2.8 million female smokers.

Meantime, 1 in 5 young people at the age of 13 to 15 years are current smokers.

The Department of Health revealed that 23.9 million Filipinos are the victims of daily passive smoking with 66.7 % of workers exposed to passive smoke in worksites and 75.7 % of workers are exposed to passive smoke where anti-smoking policy is not introduced.

Besides, public transportation is one more place where Filipinos are also exposed to secondhand smoking.

It is said in the 2008 Tobacco and Poverty study of the WHO that the average Filipino household income nearly P5,100 monthly spends about 2.6 % of the household revenue on tobacco, which is more than they spend on education and health which is 1.6 % and health at 1.3 5 correspondingly.

The WHO holds by an opinion that tobacco excise tax has to be at least 70 % of the tobacco retail costs.

Non-government organization Health Justice suggests removing price classification freeze and a unitary system of taxation imposed on all tobacco products. It as well offers a high tax rate of at least P30 per box and a taxation rate that is pegged to inflation.

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