I met some of the staunch advocates of anti-smoking, and tobacco control. I feel fortunate to have listened to the kind of work they do—not easy, at times frustrating, nonetheless rewarding. My work is nothing compared to what their work results in. Theirs is so strong a conviction to help save the lives of many of smoking Filipinos, 17.3 million of them .
After learning about the hard work the FCAP (Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance-Philippines) does in this country, I couldn’t help but look at some of the numbers released by the Results of the 2009 Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) for the Philippines.
1. Filipino adults smoke even if almost every one in the population is aware of the ill-effects of puffing a cigarette.
2. 13.8 million adult Filipinos, smoke daily, each one consuming an average of 10.6 cigarettes, spending around 326.40 pesos ($7.16) every month for it.
3. Men, at 47.7% or approximately 14.6 million, outnumbered women, at 9% or approximately 2.8 million, in smoking tobacco.
There is some good news here—more than half of the smokers (60.6 %) have also stated their interest in quitting. Well, that’s a relief. I understand a Smoking Cessation Program should be in place to help these almost-quitters.
Smoking is an addiction, we already know that. If we can help drug dependents be drug-free through drug rehabilitation programs, there is no reason smoking cessation clinics can’t help smokers.
Let them be like any other clinics where walk-ins are welcome.