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state of smoking in the Philippines

This page was last edited on: July 26, 2022 at 1:45pm 

smoking rate:

24.7% (2019)

Tobacco Use Rate

23.8 % (2015)

Tobacco Use and Trends

  • In 2019, 7% of adults aged 15 and above in Philippines smoked cigarettes.
  • There are 19.9 million smokers in the Philippines, 16% (approximately 3 million) of whom were female.
  • Smoking rates in the Philippines are higher among men (40.9%) versus women (8.2%).
  • Youth (13-15 years old) prevalence rates for cigarettes have increased slightly from 8.9% in 2011 to 10.8% in 2019. Prevalence rates were higher for boys versus girls.
  • In 2019, 14.1% of youth used electronic cigarettes. This was higher than the prevalence rate for cigarette use among youth (Figure 1).

(Figure 1): Cigarette and E-Cigarette prevalence by youth (13-15 years old), 2011-2019

Source: GYTS 2011,  GYTS 2019

HEALTH AND ECONOMIC BURDEN FROM TOBACCO USE:

  • The health burden from tobacco use increased by 13.8% between 2009 and 2019 (3.1 million DALYs to 3.5 million DALYs), making tobacco the leading risk factor in Philippines. During that period, tobacco-attributable deaths increased by 16.6% from 96,186 to 112,112 in 2019.
  • In 2016, economic cost of smoking-attributable diseases was estimated as 44.6 billion PHP ($ 858 million USD) for Philippines.

REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT:

  • Philippines became a party to the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in 2005.
  • Since then, demand reduction measures embodied by the MPOWER framework for cessation programs, health warnings, and monitoring for combustible tobacco products were evaluated as ‘complete’ for Philippines by the WHO in 2021. Mass media and advertising bans were evaluated as ‘moderate’ and measures for smoke-free environments were evaluated as ‘minimal.’
  • The sale and use of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products are legal and regulated in the Philippines.
  • In 2020, Philippines levied differential excise taxes on nicotine products, where a higher rate of P55 was levied on a pack of 20 cigarettes, P30 for a pack of 20 sticks of HTPs, P47/ml for ENDS with nicotine salt, and P55/10ml for classic nicotine vapor products as of 2022, with a further increase scheduled for 2023.

TOBACCO PRODUCTION AND DIVERSIFICATION

  • In 2020, Philippines produced 52,400 tons of tobacco, representing a nearly 36% reduction in tobacco production since 1990. The area harvested for tobacco also shrank from 632,000 ha in 1990 to 261,000 ha in 2009. However, by 2020, the area harvested for tobacco increased to 289,000 ha.
  • In 2013, 15% of incremental excise tax revenues from tobacco and alcohol taxes are earmarked for economic development projects in tobacco-growing provinces, mainly to provide tobacco farmers with alternative means of livelihood.
  • Revenues earmarked for tobacco-growing communities amounted to P15.81 billion in 2018. The majority of these funds went to local governments from Northern Luzon. Seventy percent (70%) of tobacco in this country is produced in the Ilocos Region: Ilocos Norte, Ilocos, Sur, La Union and Pangasinan.

As research findings become available that are inclusive of additional gender identities, the Foundation will update the information presented. 

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