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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

March 27, 2023 by

Study Reveals Vaping Can Effectively Help Adults Stop Smoking

There is enough evidence that support the use of electronic cigarettes as an aid for smoking cessation in adults, says Kenneth E. Warner, PhD, professor emeritus of Department of Health Management and Policy, School of Public Health, University of Michigan.

Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are hand-held, battery-operated devices that heat a liquid containing propylene glycol and/or glycerin, flavoring compounds, and typically nicotine to produce an aerosol that users inhale, or vape.

February 06, 2023 by

Senators fume over vape industry’s targeting the youth market, urge DTI to uphold law

Outraged senators on Monday decried the sale of vaping products that are packaged to entice the youth and demanded that the Department of Trade and Industry uphold the law.

During the plenary session, the Senate adopted an unnumbered resolution, which was referred to the Senate committee on sustainable development goals, innovation and futures thinking, chaired by Senator Pia Cayetano.


Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri proposed the adoption of a resolution as Cayetano delivered a privilege speech on the unregulated selling of vape products targeting minors through its packaging and flavor.

November 29, 2022 by

Why we should raise taxes on vapes

Over the past decade, the Philippines has achieved a level of international best practice in its tobacco control policies. In 2015, when the number of current smokers went down from 17 million (2009) to 15.9 million, the World Health Organization (WHO) commended the country for achieving the largest number of smokers that quit in a short period of time in the Western Pacific.

Despite the great strides we’ve made in preventing Filipinos from smoking, we face a unique new challenge in the form of electronic nicotine and non-nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), otherwise known as e-cigarettes or vapes.

November 09, 2022 by

Philippines Vaping Policy Could Be a Model for the Rest of Asia

Amid intensifying debate over the regulation of novel nicotine products, the Philippines—despite being known for the murderous drug war waged by former President Rodrigo Duterte—has charted a regulatory course that could be a template for other low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in Asia and beyond.

“For the first time in the legislative history of our country, we have achieved a national differentiated regulatory framework governing vaping products and HTP [heated tobacco products],” said Dr. Lorenzo Mata, a central figure in the Philippine movement for balanced regulation and head of the nonprofit Quit for Good. [...]

October 24, 2022 by

Philippines Starts Consultation for New Vape Law

The Philippines Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will begin consulting the public for the crafting of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the country’s new vape law today, reports ABS-CBN News

“For private stakeholders who have an interest on the crafting of the IRR, they are included, and we will consider all inputs or all comments that were sent,” said DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo.

August 23, 2022 by

Scientific group supports ‘anti-smoking’ Vape Law

A respected scientific research and advocacy group welcomed the enactment of Republic Act No. 11900 or the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act, which it described as a major anti-smoking regulation that will provide Filipino smokers access to regulated less harmful alternatives.

“The Harm Reduction Alliance of the Philippines (HARAP) applauds the passage of the new ‘anti-smoking’ Vape Law. This development affirms the sound and real science behind tobacco harm reduction (THR) which countries like the U.K., Japan and New Zealand have accepted and implemented,” said Prof. Ron Christian G. Sison, lead convenor of HARAP.



August 23, 2022 by

Activists Laud Philippines’ New Vaping Law

Vaping activists have praised the Philippines for enacting progressive e-cigarette legislation.

On July 25, legislation took effect that lowers the purchase age for e-cigarettes and heated-tobacco products, removes a two-flavor limit on e-liquids and allows vaping sponsorships beyond industry associations and trade events.

“Enacting some of the most progressive vaping legislation in Asia-Pacific now makes the Philippines an international leader in effective tobacco harm reduction,” said Nancy Loucas, [...]

August 05, 2022 by

Clearing the air

If not regulated, vape or vaporized nicotine products, including electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes, would proliferate, especially through illicit means among Filipino minors. Valenzuela City Mayor Wes Gatchalian, previously deputy House speaker during the 18th Congress, echoed this warning amid the renewed debate over the newly enacted Vape bill.

The Congressman-turned Mayor took up the cudgels for Republic Act (RA) 11900, otherwise known as the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act, Vape law, for short. [...]

August 04, 2022 by

Vape Law to reduce deaths from smoking – health experts

HEALTH experts believe that the Vape law will help reduce serious diseases and deaths caused by smoking in the Philippines where there are more than 16 million smokers.

"Simply put, smoking kills and I think no one will dispute that our government should do everything it can to stop this—including the passage of this landmark anti-smoking vape law," Dr. Arleen Reyes, former president of the Philippine Dental Association and chairman of the Scientific Committee for the Asia Pacific Dental Federation, said in a statement.

"Smoking is our biggest enemy because it is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the country," Reyes said.

August 02, 2022 by

Vape law expected to reduce smoking prevalence in PH — medical experts

The implementation of the landmark “anti-smoking” vape law will significantly cut down the high smoking rate in the Philippines and help reduce the health risks faced by more than 16 million Filipino smokers, according to top medical specialists.

Dr. Rafael Castillo, past president of the Philippine Heart Association (PHA) and the only Filipino doctor who sits in the board of trustee of the UK-based International Society of Hypertension, said the enactment of Republic Act No. 11900, or the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act, will address the country’s smoking problem.