gsthr logo
Quick links to detailed datasheets for Philippines at

Smoking in Philippines

There has been a downwards trend in current smoking prevalence in the general population in the Philippines. Smoking prevalence was 34% overall in 2000 and declined to 24.5% in 2015, with a further drop to 20% projected by 2025. For men, the prevalence decreased from 57% in 2000 to 42% in 2015, with a further decrease to 34% projected by 2025. Women’s prevalence was 10% in 2000; this decreased to around 7% in 2015, and is projected to decrease further to around 6% by 2025. The WHO published prevalence trend estimates in tobacco smoking, as shown here, in their 2018 2nd edition report, which show slightly different smoking prevalence to the WHO country profiles. Data for the estimates were obtained from WHO databases. The trend lines are projections, not predictions, of future attainment. A projection indicates a likely endpoint if the country maintains its tobacco control efforts at the same level that it has implemented them to date. Therefore the impact of recent interventions could alter the expected endpoint shown in the projection. While the methods of estimation used in the first and second editions of the WHO report are the same, the volume of data available for the second edition is larger i.e. 200 more national surveys. The results presented are therefore more robust. E-cigarettes, Heated Tobacco Products and novel tobacco products, such as snus and nicotine pouches, are currently covered by RA 11900, where they are considered consumer products unless they contain medical claims - in which case they first require FDA approval - see:

Read articles from Philippines

June 25, 2024 by

Harm Reductionists Wary on New Philippines Vape Regulations

New regulations in the Philippines mandate all vaping products to be registered with the Department of Trade and Industry. These laws aim to provide safer alternatives to smoking, with around 1.6 million vapers in the country. However, concerns arise regarding potential restrictions on access and increased taxation, potentially leading vapers back to smoking. Advocates, like Clarisse Virgino and Anton Israel, acknowledge the benefits of regulation but worry about enforcement and affordability. While the Philippines leads in vape regulation in Asia, uncertainties remain about the future accessibility and choice for consumers.

April 30, 2024 by

Legislator seeks transfer of vape products regulation to FDA

AnaKalusugan Party-list Rep. Ray T. Reyes urged transferring vape regulation from the Department of Trade and Industry to the Food and Drug Administration due to concerns about vape-related lung injuries among youth. He called for a review of Republic Act 11900 and emphasized the need to enforce vaping laws, especially for minors, following a significant rise in teenage vape users. Reports of EVALI cases and minors violating smoking laws highlight the risks associated with vaping products. Reyes stressed the importance of revising regulations to prioritize public health and safety.

March 06, 2024 by

'Vape pa more'! DOH records cases of lung injuries among minors due to e-cigarettes, seeks PNP's help

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Teodoro Herbosa sought on Wednesday, March 6, the assistance of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to ensure that minors will have no access to e-cigarettes amid cases of young Filipinos suffering from lung injuries. Herbosa said he specifically asked PNP chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda, Jr. to ensure that the specific provision of the Republic Act 11900 relating to the prohibition to sell vapes to people below 18 years old is strictly implemented.

February 22, 2024 by

Marcoleta distraught as Cayetano rant puts 3 million Filipino livelihoods at risk

“I’d rather have one thousand Dirty Ashtrays (award) than one coffin to contain the whole tobacco industry, including the farmers and stakeholders who are depending on the tobacco industry in our country,” Marcoleta said during his February 19 privilege speech. “While the state is conscious and responsible in maintaining the health of its citizens, it should also do so mindful of the general welfare of the people, especially the stakeholders of the tobacco industry. Our two laws advocate for balanced policies,” he said. 

February 12, 2024 by

International anti-smoking advocates defend Philippines in WHO conference

International anti-smoking advocates have defended the Philippines against criticisms for its endorsement of state policies aimed at ending smoking in the country. The Philippines recently received a "Dirty Ashtray" award from the Global Alliance on Tobacco Control (GATC) for its support of tobacco harm reduction at a conference convened by the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). Advocates argue that attacking the country for promoting life-saving alternatives to lethal cigarettes is authoritarian and moralistic.

January 17, 2024 by

WHO Report ‘Unscientific”: Mata

A public health advocacy group based in the Philippines has criticized the latest report of the World Health Organization on the use of electronic cigarettes, saying the global body undermines the significant progress made in public health over the past two decades as smokers transitioned to smoke-free products. Lorenzo Mata Jr., president of Quit for Good, said the WHO’s continued demonization of e-cigarettes disregards the wealth of scientific evidence demonstrating that smoke-free alternatives such as e-cigarettes, heated tobacco and snus have helped millions of smokers in countries like the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan and Sweden successfully quit smoking.

November 20, 2023 by

Thailand asked to follow the PH lead in accepting safer tobacco alternatives

A consumer advocate asked the government of Thailand to follow the lead of the Philippines in passing legislation that encourages millions of smokers to switch to less harmful alternatives to prevent deaths and diseases. Asa Saligupta, director of ENDS Cigarette Smoke Thailand (ECST), said Thailand’s ban on smoking alternatives only pushed these products underground, resulting in an unregulated market that deprives the government of revenues and forces consumers to keep on smoking.

October 30, 2023 by

Need for more nuanced messaging on vaping, smoking

The latest Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) shows that 14.1 percent of youth aged 13 to 15 are current vape users. This is a jump from 11 percent in 2015. This modest increase is enough to worry some health advocates, intensifying calls for greater regulation of vaping products. It is certainly the case that these kids should not be touching any sort of smoking or vaping paraphernalia. In that regard, more stringent vaping regulations might be warranted. However, things must be put in perspective when reporting about these trends.

September 14, 2023 by

Tobacco ban ignored near PH schools – study

TOBACCO and nicotine products sale and advertising still persist within the proximity of schools in the Philippines despite government regulations, a study shows. An observational study conducted by the Institute for Global Tobacco Control (IGTC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health also finds that enforcement of the comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship near schools is "one of the most cost-effective and high-impact ways to reduce demand for tobacco

August 08, 2023 by

Philippines: New Rules for Vape Supplier Imports

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in the Philippines said it will require importers of raw materials for vaping products to seek special clearances to release their shipments. [...] “For vape products, we are going to require them to (apply for) the authority to release imported goods for raw materials,” BIR Commissioner Romeo Lumagui Jr. said. “We are thinking of ways to regulate because there are so many vape products now. The production of vape products is a backyard industry, so we’re thinking of ways to regulate it.”