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Breaking The Habit

9 of 10 Pinoys Want No Smoking in Public

KICKING THE HABIT. A recent survey showed that nine out of ten Filipino adults said smoking should be banned in public places.

According to the survey conducted by Pulse Asia, 91 percent of adult Filipinos agree that smoking should be prohibited in public places. Moreover, 90 percent of respondents said they want the minimum age for buying or using cigarettes increased to 25 years old.

Meanwhile, only 80 percent of Filipino smokers are in favor of the public smoking ban and increasing the minimum age for buying cigarettes.

One out of four Filipinos smoke

The same survey showed that almost 24 percent of adult Filipinos smoke tobacco. Additionally, 19 percent say they smoke on a daily basis. The data also revealed that a large number of smokers are men, self-employed, and Catholic.

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The survey, which was conducted on January 26 to 31, was commissioned by the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development. A total of 1,800 Filipino adults from across the country participated in the study. While the sample may be modest, the favor towards a public smoking ban is encouraging.

Boosting the universal healthcare law

New laws have been submitted in the past few years focusing on improving public health. In 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte signed an executive order on the nationwide banning of smoking in public places.

Furthermore, the famed TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) Law imposes higher taxes on tobacco. The government hopes this will help discourage smoking among Filipinos.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said increasing the price of cigarettes is expected to decrease the number of smokers. The estimate is around 3.8 million within the next four years.

Sin taxes, which covers those from tobacco products, will also be used to fund the newly signed Universal Health Care Act. According to Duque, the new health care law would require approximately P257 billion during the first year of its implementation.

via ABS-CBN News

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