Smoking in the Philippines
The numbers are clear: smoking and smoking-related diseases among Filipinos have grown to alarming rates. 17.3 million Filipinos 15 years old and above are smokers. As of 2007, almost 30% of teenagers aged 13-15 in urban areas have joined the ranks of smokers—and this represents a staggering 40 percent increase from the 2003 numbers.
515 to 827 Filipinos contract smoking-related lung cancer, and lung and heart diseases every day. An estimated 10 Filipinos die every hour due to smoking-related diseases. That’s 240 deaths a day, and 87,000 a year. The further we go down the poverty line, the worse the scenario gets: the poorer you are, the more susceptible you are to smoking-related diseases, and the more difficult it is to get adequate healthcare. In spite of these facts, the Philippines remains one of the cheapest places to get cigarettes in the world.