Friday, August 1, 2014
Too cheap to smoke in the Philippines
Philippine cigarette's cost on the average 30-50 Philippine pesos (merely 0.5 to 0.9 euro) per pack. It has one of the cheapest retail prices of cigarette in Southeast Asia. Compared to Singapore, the cost is about 10-12 SGD (350-420 pesos per pack) or in the US where a pack of cigarette can cost up to 14 USD (600 pesos) plus taxes (depending on which states you buy the pack, it can range from 5 to 15 USD). In UK, it can cost on the average 4-9 British pound per pack. In Australia, it can set you back 12-15 AUS dollars.
A county like the Philippines, which is a developing country, with its finite resources have place too much pressure on the public health sector for so many years. These resources could be better re-align in treating other preventable and communicable diseases. The money spent treating pulmonary diseases related to cigarette smoking in public and government hospitals are enough to built more modern health care and medical centers. Think about it?
As in my previous blog, my targets are not directed towards those who are already addicted to nicotine, "bad habits are hard to die" and for them, medical interventions and smoking cessation clinics are one of the best options available. My targets are the youth who hasn't started smoking. Making it expensive and "not cool" to smoke will prevent more smokers in the long run.
If we are serious about lessening the amount of young people picking up the habit, we have to make a push towards higher price of pack of cigarette to the point it can make a big dent on someone's financial budget. I hope we have at least one politician who is serious enough to do their job and to properly service its citizenry. For that policy maker, I say to you "this is one cause you can take".
** Over 16,000 visited/stumble upon my sites, I hope this blog can spread so as to change the mindset of others who are the forefront of policy making in our country.