The Philippines Needs Tobacco Control Programs

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In the 20th century, the tobacco epidemic worldwide killed 100 million people. In the 21st century, the tobacco epidemic could kill 1 billion. In one in ten adults worldwide, about 5 million deaths per year, the cause of death is smoking, and if the present smoking pattern persists, the proportion will be one in six by the year 2030, about 10 million deaths per year (World bank, 1999). Among the people alive today, it shows that about 500 million will eventually be killed by tobacco (Peto & et al, 1994).

Smoking is an extraordinarily significant cause of untimely death and disability since the 1950’s, and more than 70,000 articles are able to support it. For several decades where cigarette smoking has been common in populations, lung cancer cases are about 90%, other cases of cancers are approximately about 15-20%, moreover, cases for emphysema and chronic bronchitis are about 75% and deaths from cardiovascular diseases are about 25% in which those 35-69 years of age are because of tobacco. Research shows have shown that half of the long term smokers will die linked to tobacco related disease and of these, wont make it before the age of 65 (World bank, 1999).

The 2009 Global Adult Tobacco Survey estimates that adult smoking prevalence in the Philippines is 28.3%, which is equivalent to 17.3 million Filipinos aged 15 years old and over who are cigarette smokers. 47.7% (14.6 million) and 9.0% (2.8 million) of the 15 years old and over population are male and female smokers, respectively. The 2007 Global Youth Tobacco Survey also estimates that about 17% or 4 million Philippine youths aged 13-15 years are also current smokers. (Department of Health, 2010) It is predicted that tobacco will kill over 175 million world...

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...ess to the earmarked proceeds of RA 9334 revenues for tobacco control and NCD-related initiatives. Since the earmarking is only up to 2011, the health sector should explore mechanisms to sustain funding, e.g. creation of Health Promotion Foundation under the auspices of the DOH, either as a separate office or as an attached agency.


Apparent “poor” enforcement by local government units of the national tobacco laws and of the FCTC in the Philippines despite significant gains in 2003 GYTS results. There were also lack of political will, coupled with lack of monitoring and reporting guidelines for offenders of the laws, in spite of strong national government and NGO’s efforts to advocate full implementation of tobacco control laws. Need to sustain surveillance, monitoring and evaluation of national and local tobacco control programs in the country.
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