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 environments: Smoking is completely banned in health-care, educational, and indoor government facilities and on public land transportation. Smoking is also banned in other indoor workplaces and public places, however the law allows for these areas to have designated smoking areas.

Advertising, promotion and sponsorship: Tobacco advertising is banned on national and international TV, radio, and print media. However, tobacco advertising is still allowed at point of sale in the form of posters and leaflets. Tobacco companies heavily advertise at point of sale and through indirect methods such as free distribution and promotional discounts.

Warning labels: Current health warnings do not meet minimum FCTC requirements. The health warnings are text only and cover 30% of the front of the pack.

Tobacco taxes: The Philippines has a non-indexed four-tier tobacco tax system that differentiates between low-, medium-priced, high-priced and premium brands. The Department of Finance is contemplating amending the current tax structure to a single unitary rate. Tobacco taxes in the Philippines fall below the World Bank’s recommendation that tobacco taxes make up two-thirds to four-fifths of retail price.

Updated: August 2013