Filipino Smoking Rate Decreases

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    The rate of current tobacco use and smoking among Filipinos aged 15 and older decreased to 19.5 percent, or 15.1 million, in 2021, according to GMA News.

    Exposure to secondhand smoke in homes and public places “significantly declined,” according to Vito Roque Jr. from the Department of Health’s Epidemiology Bureau, citing the 2021 Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS). The largest decline was in public transportation, decreasing from 37.6 percent in 2015 to 12.2 percent in 2021.

    While the quit rate among past 12-month users decreased, the number of adult smokers thinking of quitting because of health warnings increased from 37.4 percent in 2009 to 43.7 percent in 2021.

    “Key results from 2009 to 2021 showed a favorable trend in the country’s initiative on tobacco prevention and control. Results show a consistent downward trend in tobacco use prevalence [and] exposure to secondhand smoke,” Roque said.

    “These successes may be attributed to the adoption and implementation of tobacco prevention and control health policies and interventions. The results also reflect the effectiveness of the enforced key policies on tobacco taxation, graphic health warnings, protection of bureaucracy against tobacco industry interference and smoke-free environments,” he added.