Dr. Rosanna Florencia Ulep, DMD, MPH is Chief of the University Dental Services Department in Polytechnic University of the Philippines
According to the global adult tobacco survey of 2009, the Philippines is one of the countries with the largest percentage number of smokers among its adult population with 28%, averaging around 17 million people.
This data shows that there was an increase in the number of deaths due to smoking from 1990 to 2015, this data also shows the mortality rates with increases from 2000 to 2012 due to tobacco.
Locally about 10 Filipinos die every hour due to tobacco-related diseases.
It is also significant to see that after the implementation of additional tobacco excise taxes, the country has seen a decrease in the total prevalence rate of Filipino smokers.
The overall mortality rate in the Philippines related to smoking has a significant decline since 2015, it is vital to note that 2015 is a significant milestone for the adoption of taxes and a stricter anti-smoking campaign.
Only four of more than 40 diseases caused by smoking account for the roughly $4 billion in yearly healthcare costs.
This puts the Philippines among the top 15 countries globally that face a relatively high burden of tobacco-related mortality.
As technology advances even the way of smoking has evolved, smoking can be classified into two main divisions vaping and cigarette smoking.
We know that vaping is part of the smoking cessation therapy that is being done for people that wanted to quit smoking.
As of 2015, the Philippines recorded 591,768 vapers, there has been a 110% with the numbers since then, specifically, the vaping community went from 11.7% usage to 24.6%.
The death fall linked to smoking, although seeing an increase in number is still declining when the total current population is considered, and there is still work needed to be able to significantly affect the overall mortality rate of smoking.
We wouldn’t know back five years ago that the vape would be regulated, it’s through the efforts of the rock stars of harm reduction that it can be done.
Harm reduction – they still look at it as a competition.