NINE out of 10 adult Filipinos agree that smoking in public places should be prohibited, an advocacy group said, citing a survey last month by Pulse Asia.
The Jan. 26-31 survey, which is not yet posted by the polling group as of this writing, was presented at the launching of the electoral campaign “iChange: Vote for a smoke-free Philippines,” by the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD), the group said in its statement on Thursday.
On the other hand, the PLCPD also noted in its statement the Pulse Asia survey showing that almost one in four adult Filipinos (24%) use tobacco, with 19% saying they are daily tobacco smokers, whereas almost 8 out of 10 adult Filipinos (76%) say they do not use tobacco, with 62% saying that they never used tobacco in their life.
According to the PLCPD, the survey also showed nine out of 10 Filipinos agreeing that the minimum age allowed to buy and smoke cigarettes should be raised from 18 to 25 years old.
PLCPD Executive Director Romeo Dongeto said in the statement: “The results of this survey show that the Filipino public is very open and receptive to essential legislative reforms that can be done as regards tobacco control. May this piece of information have a deep impact on candidates for the 2019 midterm polls, for them to resolutely pursue measures that will contribute to a smoke-free Philippines.”
“These figures show how deep the smoking problem is rooted in Philippine society. Despite recent strides our nation has taken to control tobacco use, we still have a long way to go. That is why we are launching the iChange campaign, a drive we are pursuing in time for the election season, with the specific goal of making this issue be at the forefront of electoral debates and garner support from incoming elected officials towards crafting and enacting stricter laws on tobacco control.”
“The election period is what we call the noon for public clamor, as we all know that candidates running for public office are most receptive to public opinion during this period. That’s why advocates need to sound the alarms on tobacco use even louder at this moment in time. We also hope that voters will consider important issues such as health in making the important decision of choosing whom to vote.”