IF the price of a stick of cigarette is increased to P10 each from the current P5, it would either stop or decrease smoking among smokers interviewed during the survey conducted by the University of the Philippines Communication Research Society.
Although the respondents are into cigarette smoking, 73 percent of them agreed to an increase in the prices of cigarettes.
They said a price increase would affect cigarette consumption, and eventually prevent the youth from smoking.
The survey sample was composed of 89 percent males and 11 percent females at ages 15 to 30 (48.8 percent), 31 to 45 (33.7 percent), 41 to 60 (14.7 percent), and 61 to 75 (2.8 percent); 464 are daily smokers, 25 smoke weekly, and only seven smoke occasionally on a monthly basis.
Of these 496 respondents, 66 percent admit to smoking more than 10 packs of cigarettes per month, 24 percent smoke between three to ten packs, and only 10 percent smoke below three packs. Sixty percent of the sample consume cigarettes that are categorized as high-priced.
The same survey, in coordination with HealthJustice, indicated that 54 percent will quit smoking when cigarettes are priced at P5 per stick and an additional 23 percent will discontinue the addiction.
HealthJustice is a non-governmental organization that aims to bridge the gap between health and law to empower Filipinos to make healthy choices and to be free from health risks that could be prevented through appropriate health policies.
In line with this, 64 percent expressed support for legislators pushing for tobacco tax reform.
The survey respondents are also in favor of smoke-free environments 84 percent agree to have smoke-free public places to protect non-smokers, 88% are in favor of policies on smoke-free environments, and 81 percent are supportive of government officials pushing for smoke-free policies.