As the government intensifies its collection of cigarette taxes in the Philippines, a Greek visitor in Manila reminds authorities that saving millions of Filipino smokers from premature death is a campaign that deserves a greater attention.
“Smoking is an epidemic worldwide. We have over 1.1 billion smokers in the world, or about 23 percent of the adult population. The World Health Organization predicts that within the 21st Century alone, we are going to have 1 billion premature deaths due to smoking. In the Philippines, the smoking prevalence is about 20 percent. Of these 20 million smokers, 10 million of them are going to die prematurely by smoking-related diseases. The average life expectancy of a smoker is 10 years less than a non-smoker. It is a huge cost in lives and in economy,” says Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, a researcher at Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre in Athens and University of Paltras in Paltras, Greece.
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