Higher cigarette prices, graphic warnings will lessen number of youth smokers

Higher cigarette costs and graphic warnings will reduce the number of teen smokers in Philippines, based on the last study led by the Health Justice Philippines.

The study, led by the Social Weather Stations between August 24 to 27, demonstrated that of 1,200 teenagers aged between 13-17 years old, 8% are current smokers, 4% are former smokers, while 88% are non-smokers.

Smoking Teenager

Teenager inhaling cigarette smoke

The outcomes of the study were published on November 13 at a weekly forum at the Senate as senators still debated on the questionable sin tax bill, which is going to increase taxes for alcohol and tobacco products.

The study stated Filipino teenagers who are present smokers generally light up five cigarettes a day. It also revealed that most of the present smokers would quit smoking if each cigarette costs P10.

It as well said price is one of the major causes why present smokers choose certain cigarette brands.

The causes particularly for smoking a particular brand are taste (34%), cost (25%), ‘just for kicks’ (16%), to get rid of aftertaste (11%), the brand is favored by friends (9%), and the brand’s prestige (2%).

It said more than half of present smokers used to smoke Fortune (56%) in the past month, accompanied by Marlboro (29%), Winston (2%), More (1%), Plaza (1%), Boss (1%), Hope (1%), and Philip Morris (1%).

It added that mostly smokers of Fortune were in Luzon (62%), and Mindanao (62%) and Visayas (55%), while Marlboro is the favored brand of teenagers in the National Capital Region (78%).

But in addition to the price, outcomes of the study also revealed that majority of smoking teens would minimize the number of cigarettes they smoke if there were graphic warnings on the pack.

It particularly said that 63% of present smokers asked would lower the quantity of cigarettes they smoke, 34% would quit smoking and 3% would still smoke.

In the same way, 60% of former smokers said they would have quitted smoking if there were warning labels on the packs, while 27% would minimize the number of smoked cigarettes; 10% would still smoke; and 3% would not know what to do.

Former smokers had also said that the major cause they quitted smoking was to strengthen their health.

Most of the existing smokers questioned also accepted that smoking was really dangerous to their health.

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