Global Epidemic

Philippines

Consumption

  • In the Philippines, 28 percent of the adult population (age 15+) smoke tobacco.
  • Almost half of men (48 percent) and 9 percent of women smoke.
  • Among youth (age 13-15) 17.5 percent smoke cigarettes (boys 23 percent; girls 12 percent) and 8 percent currently use tobacco products other than cigarettes (boys 8 percent; girls 7 percent).

Health Consequences

  • Smoking is conservatively estimated to kill over 73,000 Filipinos each year.
  • Among youth (age 13-15), 55 percent are exposed to secondhand smoke at home and 65 percent exposed to secondhand smoke in public places.
  • Almost 40 percent of adults are exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes and 37 percent of workers are exposed to secondhand smoke at the workplace.

Tobacco Industry

In 2010, Philip Morris International and Fortune Tobacco Corp formed a joint venture that holds over 80 percent of the cigarette market share. It is followed by Japan Tobacco with a share of 6.1 percent and Mighty Corp. with 4.9 percent. In the Philippines, more than 80 billion cigarettes were sold in 2010.

FCTC Status

The Philippines ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on June 6, 2005.

Tobacco Control Policy Status

Smoke Free Places: In the Philippines, smoking is completely banned in enumerated public places and workplaces such as healthcare, educational institutions, and facilities frequented by minors. In other public places and workplaces, including bars/pubs/nightclubs, designated indoor smoking areas and ventilation options are allowed under the national law. All government facilities and public land transportation vehicles and terminals are smoke free. Smoking areas are allowed in aircraft, and inter-island water vessels, except if these qualify as government premises. However, in practice, aircraft are smoke free.

Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship: Direct advertising through most forms of mass media is prohibited, but tobacco companies can still advertise at points of sale, including large outdoor signage on top of points of sale establishments, and provide free distribution of tobacco products, among other promotional activities. The law exempts the use of company internet websites to provide information regarding a company, its products, and smoking and health related information. Tobacco companies are prohibited from engaging in government-related sponsorships and publicizing certain types of sponsorship such as sports events, concerts, and cultural arts events.

Tobacco Packaging and Labeling: Warning labels are text only and cover 30 percent of the front of the package. Misleading tobacco product packaging and labeling including terms, descriptors, trademarks, or figurative or other signs that directly or indirectly create a false impression that a tobacco product is less harmful than other tobacco products is not prohibited.

Tobacco Taxation and Prices: The World Health Organization recommends raising tobacco excise taxes so that they account for at least 70 percent of retail prices. Tobacco excise taxes in the Philippines are well below these recommendations.

Updated: April 2014