Infograph: Smoke Happy Philippines

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President Duterte’s declared war on drugs has been splashed across the front pages worldwide as the body count piles up, with the number of drug related killings in the Philippines now topping 2,000. Duterte rode (and still continues to) a wave of popular support, resulting in a convincing majority to claim the presidency mainly due to his rhetoric on eliminating criminals, drugs and corruption.

© Adam Cohn https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamcohn/24537945231
© Adam Cohn https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamcohn/24537945231

Another promise, during his campaign was to implement a curfew, liquor ban and no-smoking policy just as he did during his time as the Mayor of Davao. During his tenure as Mayor, Duterte allegedly went as far as forcing a tourist visiting Davao to eat a cigarette butt, although his spokesman denied Mayor Duterte did so with a gun at the tourist’s head.

Duterte currently holds a 91-per cent approval rating and has maintained he must be “brutal to protect public health,” proposing a smoking ban nationwide, with “smoking rooms” to be prohibited and a no smoking policy within 50 meters of establishments, although the highly profitable casino industry has sought an exemption to the rule.

In a weekly show before he became President, he said “If I make it to the Pasig, before I drown, it is really no smoking, and I said that you can have places where you can smoke because I know that nicotine is addictive and therefore if you are smoking and you get addicted to nicotine and you must have a fix for that day which your body would really look for, [especially in] moments of stress, merrymaking, drinking, [the ordinance] may hit thousands, even millions,” he said, adding that ”nicotine is a cancer-causing merchandise; I have to protect those who are not smoking”

An anti-smoking advocacy group recently backed a proposal by a lawmaker from Cebu City to ban for one day the sale and smoking in public of cigarettes on the 15th of each month – with violators to face a P10,000 ($215) to P100,000 ($2,150) fine and a prison term of between one to six months.

Although Duterte has recently fallen afoul of international organisations, with the UN questioning his methods and expressing concern about alleged human rights abuses, this particular non-smoking policy will be backed by international organisations. Research by the World Health Organisation has shown 80 per cent of the world’s one billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries, and tobacco users who die prematurely deprive their families of income, raise the cost of health care and hinder economic development.

That being said, we take a look at the task ahead for Duterte through an infograph as the number of smokers in the Philippines has steadily risen in the past, with the country now having the second highest number of smokers in ASEAN. Its young population has easy access to cigarettes as street vendors nationwide sell cigarettes ‘by the stick’ for as low as three pesos ($0.06), even to minors.

SmokeHappyPH-1

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

President Duterte’s declared war on drugs has been splashed across the front pages worldwide as the body count piles up, with the number of drug related killings in the Philippines now topping 2,000. Duterte rode (and still continues to) a wave of popular support, resulting in a convincing majority to claim the presidency mainly due to his rhetoric on eliminating criminals, drugs and corruption.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

President Duterte’s declared war on drugs has been splashed across the front pages worldwide as the body count piles up, with the number of drug related killings in the Philippines now topping 2,000. Duterte rode (and still continues to) a wave of popular support, resulting in a convincing majority to claim the presidency mainly due to his rhetoric on eliminating criminals, drugs and corruption.

© Adam Cohn https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamcohn/24537945231
© Adam Cohn https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamcohn/24537945231

Another promise, during his campaign was to implement a curfew, liquor ban and no-smoking policy just as he did during his time as the Mayor of Davao. During his tenure as Mayor, Duterte allegedly went as far as forcing a tourist visiting Davao to eat a cigarette butt, although his spokesman denied Mayor Duterte did so with a gun at the tourist’s head.

Duterte currently holds a 91-per cent approval rating and has maintained he must be “brutal to protect public health,” proposing a smoking ban nationwide, with “smoking rooms” to be prohibited and a no smoking policy within 50 meters of establishments, although the highly profitable casino industry has sought an exemption to the rule.

In a weekly show before he became President, he said “If I make it to the Pasig, before I drown, it is really no smoking, and I said that you can have places where you can smoke because I know that nicotine is addictive and therefore if you are smoking and you get addicted to nicotine and you must have a fix for that day which your body would really look for, [especially in] moments of stress, merrymaking, drinking, [the ordinance] may hit thousands, even millions,” he said, adding that ”nicotine is a cancer-causing merchandise; I have to protect those who are not smoking”

An anti-smoking advocacy group recently backed a proposal by a lawmaker from Cebu City to ban for one day the sale and smoking in public of cigarettes on the 15th of each month – with violators to face a P10,000 ($215) to P100,000 ($2,150) fine and a prison term of between one to six months.

Although Duterte has recently fallen afoul of international organisations, with the UN questioning his methods and expressing concern about alleged human rights abuses, this particular non-smoking policy will be backed by international organisations. Research by the World Health Organisation has shown 80 per cent of the world’s one billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries, and tobacco users who die prematurely deprive their families of income, raise the cost of health care and hinder economic development.

That being said, we take a look at the task ahead for Duterte through an infograph as the number of smokers in the Philippines has steadily risen in the past, with the country now having the second highest number of smokers in ASEAN. Its young population has easy access to cigarettes as street vendors nationwide sell cigarettes ‘by the stick’ for as low as three pesos ($0.06), even to minors.

SmokeHappyPH-1

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